Prior to 1949, we celebrated separately.
Four separate celebrations to honor and recognize the dedication, sacrifice, and expertise demonstrated by each branch. Different days…different branches…different celebrations.
But we are one military.
And, with the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense, we began celebrating as one.
The Armed Services YMCA, which proudly serves the military families of all our branches, invites you to join with us this Saturday in recognition of our military. Let’s celebrate Armed Forces Day together, even as we are forced to be apart due to this pandemic.
A quote by then President Truman continues to ring true today.
“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”
On that first celebration, the military pictured it as a day to provide insight and understanding into the different jobs and functions of the military to civilians. In Washington, D.C., roughly 10,000 troops from all the branches marched passed the President.
Today, our military personnel stand prepared to face and fight COVID-19. Already, more are fighting to end the pandemic than are serving in Afghanistan.
More than ever, we need to pause to reflect on this day and what it means to our country.
While we cannot celebrate together, that doesn’t mean we cannot celebrate. You are invited to join us for a free online concert at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 16th in celebration of Armed Forces Day and in support of military families. We will be announcing the winner of our Valor Corps giveaway during the concert. You still have time to become an Armed Services YMCA Valor Corps member for only $5 a month donation. Your donation will enter you for a chance to win a week in Paris, France, for Valentine's Day 2021 and 60,000 airline miles. Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, May 15th.