Armed Forces Day 2021: Third Saturday in May| History and Significance

Armed Forces Day 2021: Every year on the third Saturday of May Armed Forces Day is observed and this year it falls on 15 May. On this day tribute is given to the men and women who serve the United States Armed Forces. Let us tell you that Armed Forces Day is also a part of Armed Forces Week.    

Shikha Goyal
May 15, 2021, 15:08 IST
Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day 2021: It is observed on the third Saturday in May and in 2021, it falls on 15 May. The day honours the military forces of the US for their relentlessly providing security and protection to the nation. 

It plays an important role in educating society and provide knowledge to the public about the military and the role Armed Forces play in the community. Therefore, this day unite the citizens to pay honour to the military heroes for their patriotic service in support of the United States of America.

The first official Armed Forces Day took place on 20 May, 1950 with a theme of "teamed for Defense". Armed Forces Day celebration is not just limited to the United States but other countries also honour this victorious day which includes Armenia, Australia, New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Let us see more about Armed Forces Day, History, and celebrations.

Armed Forces Day: History
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish Armed Forces Day. On 31 August, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and Air Force Days.

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on 20 May, 1950. On this day Parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows were held. Further, in 1962, President John F. Kennedy established Armed Forces Day as an official holiday. It is celebrated on the third Saturday of every May.  Armed Forces Day parade was held in Bremerton, Washington.  

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Armed Forces Day: Celebrations

Traditionally, this day is celebrated with parades honouring military service. With the parade open houses, air shows, and some other local celebrations were also done. Numerous local parades held across the United States. Some kind of historical or educational display was also made by the military or government personnel. Civilians also visit showcases which gives them an opportunity to interact with military personnel face to face.  Special ceremonies at military memorials or cemeteries are held on this day. In honour of fallen soldiers, buglers also perform the memorial song "Taps".  This is also one of the ways to show respect and appreciation for members of the military.

No doubt the first Armed Forces Day played an essential part in educating society and expanding public knowledge of the military and the role they play in the community. Therefore, it is not to honour only those who have served or who serve in the military, but also a way to showcase its top of the line of equipment and abilities used to protect those in our country.

“Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace–many of them away from their homes, their friends, and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth–that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.” – President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Armed Forces Day is celebrated every third Saturday of May to pay honour to the military members who rightly deserve, who have made exceptional sacrifices in the service days.

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