Armed Forces Day May 18th
Patriots’ Day. Armed Forces Day. Not widely celebrated holidays, but holidays honoring our servicemen and women, both past and present, nonetheless. As I scanned the list of possible spring holidays to write about, I noticed Patriots’ Day. What is that about? I wondered. A quick scan of the internet produced interesting results.
Patriots’ Day is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
This is an important day to remember in the history of our country. Prior to 1775, the area that is now the eastern part of the United States mainly consisted of British colonies controlled by the United Kingdom. The American Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence, was a major step in the independence of the United States. The first battles in this war were fought in the areas of Lexington and Concord, near Boston, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775. For this reason, the third Monday in April is symbolic for the emerging independence of the new country.
This holiday is mainly observed in Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin. Re-enactments of these battles take place on this day, with mounted re-enactors tracing the steps of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings, complete with police escorts.
It is also a school holiday for many local colleges and universities, both public and private.
This holiday is not to be confused with Patriot Day, which is a day of remembrance for the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May during Armed Forces Week. The day was created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on Saturday, May 20, 1950. The theme for that day was “Teamed for Defense”, which expressed the unification of all military forces under one government department. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the day was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job was performed and the role of the military in civilian life.
The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy established Armed Forces Day as an official holiday. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.
Writing prompt of the week: Deborah pushed through the dense underbrush, thorns gripping the edges of her sapphire gown. It didn’t matter. Her brother, Paul, had to be warned…