May is a big month for the moving industry – we’ve got National Moving Month, after all. But for the rest of the country, May is even more important. We’ve got Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Armed Forces Day. Many folks forget about Armed Forces Day, but it is slated for the third Saturday every May – this year it will fall on May 21.
This entire week is actually known as Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of the month. The holiday was created back in 1949 to honor those Americans who served in the five branches of the U.S. military – Marines, Air Force, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard. The day was meant to replace the separate days set aside to observe those branches, but the calendar didn’t move them off.
It is a moving holiday celebrated with open houses, receptions, parades, and air shows. In 1962, it was President Kennedy that declared Armed Forces Day to be an official national holiday. The longest-running parade for the day is held each year in Bremerton, Washington. Those that move to that town are guaranteed to have a parade every year – going strong after 61 years.
An interesting additional fact about Armed Forces Day is that the National Guard and any Reserve units can celebrate anytime throughout the month of May. This is largely due to the fact that they have unique training schedules.