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BY DUANE ALLEN VACHON, PH.D. Today we should all be proud to salute the patriotic and selfless men and women who proudly wear the uniforms of our nation’s Armed Forces. Each service member, wherever he or she may be, whatever his or her task, contributes directly and importantly to the defense of this great nation. The task of each is the same — to protect and defend the freedoms which underlie the greatness of America.
The origin of Armed Forces Day in 1949 was to help promote an increased public awareness of the unification of the Armed Forces under a single Department of Defense, an understanding of what type of job is performed, and the role of the military in civilian life. Over the years it has become a day for military bases to open their doors to the public and to show “state-of- the-art” equipment to the civilian population they were protecting. It has also become a day to honor and acknowledge the people who serve in and with the Armed Forces of the United States.
In 1952, a New York Times article reported: “This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces … to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy warned: “Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.” He added, “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.”
On this Armed Forces Day, at home and abroad, our men and women in uniform continue to demonstrate their loyalty and dedication to defending American ideals under some of the most difficult and trying circumstances in our nation’s history. Thanks to their determined spirit of patriotism and professionalism, our country has the world’s most powerful and unified defense team, employing its forces in the constant quest for peace and freedom for all the nations of the world.
The information in this article was sourced from a variety of sources both internal and external. Every effort was made to ensure that the information is current and correct. These articles are presented to honor the heroes they are written about.
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.
Author: Duane Vachon
Duane A. Vachon PhD has been a licensed clinical psychologist for over thirty years. He belongs to the order of Secular Franciscans and is a life member of the Guild of Pastoral Psychology. After living almost 40 years as an expatriate, he now writes from his home in Hawaii. He has several books published and has written hundreds of articles on social justice and spiritual issues. His Doctoral thesis on ethics has set the standard at many universities. Reach Dr. Vachon at [email protected]
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