Across the U.S., men and women who are members of the armed services will be honored Saturday for serving both domestically and overseas. Armed Forces Day is marked with ceremonies and events across the country recognizing the five branches of the U.S. military: the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.
President Harry S. Truman, who served during World War One, helped to lead the effort to create the day to celebrate and thank all branches. Armed Services Day was established Aug. 31, 1949 to replace separate, individual days for the branches. The day was first observed in 1950 with the goal of also raising greater awareness for the civilian population. Former Secretary of Defense Robert D. Lovett said of the celebration, “Armed Forces Day this year should serve to emphasize the practical application of unification in action, and to remind us of the continued need for unity in our Armed Forces and among all of our citizens in the interests of security and peace.”
In honor of the day, here are 15 quotes and sayings to celebrate members of all five branches.
1. “Word to the nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.” –President John F. Kennedy
2. “Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” –General Douglas MacArthur
3. “American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on T.V., they don’t fight for mom, apple pie, the American flag…they fight for one another.” –Lt. Col. Harold “Hal” Moore
4. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” –Elmer Davis
5. “The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.” –General George S. Patton Jr.
6. “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” –Benjamin Franklin
7. “For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” –President Dwight D. Eisenhower
8. “Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause – honor to him, only less than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.” –President Abraham Lincoln
9. “Long before women had the right to vote – long before we even had the right to vote – or own property, before America even existed, women were serving this country – facing danger, risking their lives, even dressing up like men so they’d be allowed to serve.” –First Lady Michelle Obama
10. “No other country in the world does what we do. On every issue, the world turns to us, not simply because of the size of our economy or our military might – but because of the ideals we stand for, and the burdens we bear to advance them.” –President Barack Obama