President Truman proclaimed Armed Forcds Day to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard). This followed the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Days, although this has not entirely taken place. It is celebrated at the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. There are other days to celebrate military service. The most important in America is Memorial Day. There is also Veteran's Day. Armed Forces Day is a little different. While Veteran's Day is more of a day for reflection, Veteran's Day is a more active day. It is celebrated on Saturday so it is not a day off work. It is celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and special events. Probably the most popular are air shows. President Kennedy established Armed Forces Day as an official holiday (1962).
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