By David Joel Miller.
Today is Armed Forces Day here in the United States of America.
Fifty-Two different countries celebrate Armed Forces Days, though on different dates. In the U.K the date moves around, mostly late June, and so does the places of celebration. Australia and New Zealand celebrate a similar day on April 25th.
In some places, Armed Forces Day is merged with Veterans Day or Memorial Day.
The purpose of Armed Forces Day is to honor those who serve in the often difficult job of protecting and defending their countries.
Our American Armed Forces Day was created in 1949 when days devoted to the various branches of the military services were merged to create one overall day the whole country could celebrate.
In times of war, it is easy for us to remember our Armed Forces. When we are under attack they rise to the front of public view.
Unfortunately, we have learned that as soon as the crisis passes the public quickly loses sight of the role of the Armed Forces. While the public quickly forgets, the members of the Armed Forces will remember their time in the service throughout their lifetime.
In times of peace members of the armed forces are active in many ways. They are present in times of hurricane, flood, earthquake and all manner of natural disasters. They fight fires and keep the peace, both at home and at times in other lands.
Those who serve often pay a heavy price. The images of things they have seen may persist for a lifetime. Service can leave them changed forever. Some wounded warriors bear the marks of service on the outside and some carry those wounds internally.
Some wars are popular and some have been unpopular, either way, the service and those who served can quickly fade from the popular mind.
For this one day, Armed Forces Day, regardless of where you live or when you celebrate the day, we all should seek to remember those who chose this path of service.