17 May 2014

Unification As Focus: Celebrating Armed Forces Day

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Everyone’s familiar with Veterans Day, but what about Armed Forces Day?

Armed Forces Day, held on the third Saturday of May, is dedicated to the men and women who served in any branch of US defense – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.  Prior to the inauguration of Armed Forces Day, each branch celebrated separately. Armed Forces Day was dedicated in 1949 under President Harry S Truman, and  Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, as a unifying tribute for all forces. Armed Forces Day was a natural outgrowth of the newly created Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon, in that same year: Since the DoD’s purpose was to serve as an umbrella for all military branches, consolidating and streamlining their organizational structure, it made sense to have a day to celebrate in kind. While each branch does have separate celebration days, with the onset of Armed Forces Day, unity of purpose was given focus.

People commemorate Armed Forces Day in the following ways:

  • Military air shows
  • Parades
  • Flying the American flag
  • Sending thank you letters and care packages to soldiers
  • Educational projects in schools
  • Visiting soldiers at bases

The unification of the defense branches into the Department of Defense, and its resultant holiday of Armed Forces Day, came about in the wake of the world’s biggest war, World War II, where the US took a military lead which still holds today. At Rockaway Care Center, we are fortunate to count among our residents many former armed forces personnel, from a few years’ stint to career military men and women – residents who served from WWII times and onward.   By commemorating Armed Forces Day provides an excellent opportunity to show gratitude to those who serve to defend the nation – and they might be living right with you at Rockaway Care Center. Get to know the history of your roommates, your lunch mates, your garden bench mates – you might be surprised how many have military stories to tell, right here at Rockaway Care Center. 


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