May 16, 2020
Armed Forces Day 2020
Today our nation is celebrating Armed Forces Day. This is a U. S. holiday that is not well-known, except by those in the armed forces or who have or have had relatives in the military. Most of we civilians are unaware of it or the reason for it. We know something about two of our other military holidays relatively well. Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have given their lives in service to this country. We also know that Veterans Day is the day we thank those who have served in some form in any of our 5 branches of the armed forces and have been honorably discharged from those duties. Armed Forces Day celebrates those who are currently on active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
If you are familiar with this day, then you may have been to one of the celebrations on military bases near you. Maybe not this year, but you will often find the bases open to the public with parades, air shows, and sometimes other military displays. You might see how members of the military live while on the battlefield, what they eat, what their medical facilities look like, and see some of their armory and the vehicles they use. If you live near a military base, considering attending in a future year.
“An excerpt taken from an article written in the New York Post on May 17, 1952, sums up Armed Forces Day’s utmost importance, ‘It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.’”1
President John F. Kennedy had this to say about the day, “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.”
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Thank the Lord for all men and women serving on active duty in our five service branches today.
- Intercede for everyone you know who is currently serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
- Pray that they will know how vital their service is to our country, and to every individual and family.
- If you meet a member of the armed services today, make sure and thank them for their service.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we thank You that the United States of America sets aside numerous days throughout the year where we can remember those who serve our nation in military service. We bless those in active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard today on Armed Forces Day. We bless them and their families. We pray that even though there won’t be many public celebrations today due to COVID-19 restrictions, they will know they are remembered and so appreciated. [If you know anyone specifically in the services, pray for them by name now.] Lord, let our soldiers and sailors know the value of their service. Because of them, we can live free. While some of them suffer in challenging deployment situations or in the danger of the battlefield, we and our families are kept safe from harm. Place a special hedge of protection around their families, so they do not worry about them. Thank You again, Jesus. We honor our active duty servicemen and women today. Amen.
We bless our active duty servicemen and women, who are visible evidence of our nation’s determination to meet any threat against us.