On Armed Forces Day Give Our Military the Respect They Deserve

Jeanne Sager

american flagIt's finally here! The big day in May when we honor the men and women who serve our country in the military, America's true heroes. May 21 is Armed Forces Day!

What, you were thinking Memorial Day? The military gets that a lot, which is the one and only thing wrong with Armed Forces Day -- timing. While the nation looks toward the end of the month, when we will honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for country, men and women killed in the line of duty, another vital event gets short shrift. It's the red-headed stepchild in terms of holidays, but it doesn't have to be that way.

America, it's time to stop nattering on about whether Saturday will be doomsday, and focus on the men and women currently serving. How about a look at four fantastic reasons to celebrate Armed Forces Day?

1. It's about our military. And by that, I mean our CURRENT military. While it's right that we honor the fallen on Memorial Day and those who formerly served on Veterans Day, the men and women serving our country day in and day out do an amazing job. They deserve to be recognized now, not after they've retired or died.

2. It's a national holiday. We may not get the day off from work, but this isn't something Hallmark made up. Armed Forces Day was officially created by then-Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson in 1949 to replace separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days.

3. This week has gone by with nary a mention of Armed Forces Week. Traditionally there's a whole week of festivities. But with the world whining about the possibility of Judgment Day, the ladies and gents in a uniform have been largely ignored.

4. They've got a big job. With a U.S. population of 311.7 million people, there are just 1.4 million men and women serving our country. They've got the weight of a country on their shoulders, and they carry it proudly.

Will you be celebrating Armed Forces Day? Is there anyone in particular you'll be honoring this year?


Image via Chris Breeze/Flickr

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