More than 60 years ago, President Harry Truman established the third Saturday in May as Armed Forces Day. Tens of thousands of visitors poured into Washington, D.C. for a day of appreciation for America's men and women in uniform. In 1952, a New York Times article on Armed Forces Day summed up the spirit of the event:
It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.
That debt of honored affection is as important today as it was then. While the threats our nation faces are different now than they were then, we still owe our gratitude and appreciation to the select few who volunteer to place themselves in harm's way for our defense.
This year, Armed Forces Day falls on May 21st. We hope you'll join us to say thank you to the servicemembers and their families who are safeguarding America's security around the world. Tell us on Facebook how you're planning to observe Armed Forces Day.
You can also download a copy of the official Armed Forces Day 2011 poster. Click the image below to download a high-resolution image.