5 THINGS TO KNOW: How did Armed Forces Day begin and how can I get involved?

Apr. 30—The history of Armed Forces Day and how to participate in it is detailed by the United States Department of Defense and military.com.

1 What is Armed Forces Day?

Armed forces Day is a day to honor all branches of the U.S. military and their goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is celebrated nationwide the third Saturday in May.

2 When is Armed Forces Day celebrated in McAlester this year?

Armed Forces Day 2024 will be celebrated with the annual AFD Luncheon set for 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 3, at the Aldridge Ballroom, with the downtown AFD Parade set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4.

3 How did Armed Forces Day start?

On Aug. 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to separate days involving the Air Force, Navy and the Army. This first single-day celebration coincided with the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the Department of Defense — and each military league was asked to drop its individual day to adopt the newly-created one. The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day, but still also supports Armed Forces Day.

President Harry S. Truman proclaimed the first Armed Forces Day on on Feb.27, 1950.

4 How was the first Armed Forces Day celebrated?

It included parades, receptions, open houses and air shows. Approximately 10,000 troops, cadets and veterans marched in Washington D.C. Around 33,000 participants celebrated Armed Forces Day in in New York City while 250 military planes flew overhead. Americans nationwide joined together to honor the Armed Forces.

5 How can people participate in Armed Forces Day?

Armed forces Day is celebrated across the USA in communities and on military bases throughout the world with parades, banquets and other events.

—James Beaty