This upcoming Saturday is Armed Forces Day. Hip, Hip Hooray!
When first introduced and celebrated 64 years ago in our Nation’s Capital, “The Day” consisted of 10,000 troops representing all branches of the military as they marched pass President Truman and his White House guests.
That was then.
This is now.
Now, if the President wants to see members of the military at the White House on Armed Forces Day all he has to do, when he goes out to pick up his home delivered Saturday edition of the Sandusky Register on the south lawn, is look up on the roof.
Back in the day, with that day being May 20, 1950, Armed Forces Day was celebrated not just in Washington but across the USA with parades, open houses, receptions and air shows.
In New York City an estimated 33,000 participants presented The Big Apple with their first Armed Forces Day while parading in front of a cheering crowd under an air cover of 250 military planes.
This Saturday the biggest parade probably will be in Baltimore with approximately 120,000 people cheering loudly, not for their favorite soldier but for their favorite horse, during the Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course for horses. Of course.
By the way, the only air cover will come from the blimp that will broadcast the event to the rest of the USA.
With peacetime fast approaching as the drawdown in Operation Enduring Freedom continues, more people in the Funcoast seem concerned about the Browns second draft pick Johnny “Football” Manziel marching into Cleveland than they are about Johnny marching home.
Speaking of peacetime, President Truman in a Presidential Proclamation on Feb. 27, 1950 announcing the formation of Armed Forces Day by praising the work and dedication of the military branches at home and abroad said:
“Their work is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace”
64 years later…
Our United States of America Armed Forces are still serving and fighting for that desirable peace.
That’s why it’s a shame our leaders in Washington can’t organize a nationwide celebration on Armed Forces Day to salute our troops who are currently serving the United States here, there and everywhere.
That honor certainly would be welcomed. Not just by those in the military who are stationed away from home on the Armed Forces Day holiday, but it would also be appreciated by their loved ones, family and friends they left behind.
Especially with Memorial Day falling eight calendar days after Armed Forces Day.
It would make sense for our elected leaders in Washington to honor and recognize the brave members of the Armed Forces who are currently serving the USA by mandating an open celebration and parade in Washington.
This future parade could, should and would be led by the current Commander-in-Chief who would temporarily stop the proceedings in front of the White House where he or she would join past presidents of the United States at a review stand.
A show of power to the power that has made us the most powerful country in the history of recorded history.
To pay for the parade and not pass the cost onto taxpayers, our elected leaders in Washington should decree the top 25 military weapon manufacturers and contractors in the USA sponsor the parade using an equal percentage of their profits from sales to foreign countries.
We the people have always been the “Official Sponsor” of all days, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day, that honor and remember our military. But with all the money made from our military’s dedicated service by corporate America’s military industry it seems only appropriate they can pay for one day in May.
Not only would this show our fine men and women in all branches of the United States military how proud we are of their service, it would demonstrate to the world that we are indeed the United States of America Proud.