Army Day is April 6 (Historical)

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The Origins of Army Day

In 1919, a fraternity of veteran officers returning from war, called the Military Order of the World War, was formed at the urging of General John Pershing. The order was established to provide comradery, companionship, and a sense of prestige to veteran officers.

In 1928, Colonel Thatcher Luquer — then the head of MOWW — established Army Day on May 1 in the hopes of overshadowing a global communist holiday that was observed on the same calendar date.

One year later, in 1929, Army Day was observed on April 6, the anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I.

When Did Army Day Become Officially Recognized?

In 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt made the following proclamation en route to Congress' codification of Army Day in 1927.

Proclamation 2542 —Proclaiming April 6 as Army Day

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

I have proclaimed April 6 Army Day. That day means more than ever to us this year. We are fighting an all-out war in defense of our rights and liberties.

Army Day becomes, therefore, in fact a total-war day. It becomes a day when all of our citizens in civil pursuits can rally to the support of our armed forces, for only in the united effort of all of our forces—Army, Navy, and civilians—can we find the strength to defeat our enemies.

Never before in the one hundred and sixty-six years of our history as a free Republic under God have our armed forces had so much meaning for us all. We are engaged in our greatest war, a war that will leave none of our lives wholly untouched.

We shall win that war as we have won every war we have fought. We are fighting it with a combined force of free men that is, in Lincoln's words, of the people, by the people, for the people of the United States of America.

Our Army is a mighty arm of the tree of liberty. It is a living part of the American tradition, a tradition that goes back to Israel Putnam, who left his plow in a New England furrow to take up a gun and fight at Bunker Hill. In this tradition American men of many ages have always left the pacific round of their usual occupations to fight in causes that were worth their lives -from Lexington to the Argonne.

In times of peace we do not maintain a vast standing Army that might terrorize our neighbors and oppress our people. We do not like to rehearse interminably the cruel art of war. But whenever a tyrant from across the seas has threatened our liberties, our citizens have been ready to forge and use the weapons necessary for their defense.

It is the men of the regular Army together with the citizen soldiers, our friends and relatives and neighbors of a few short days ago, and the men of all our armed forces, that we honor on Army Day.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

How Do We Celebrate Army Day Now?

Army Day was last officially observed in 1949. Official celebration was phased out with the advent of Armed Forces Day (third Saturday in May) and common observation of the the U.S. Army Birthday (June 14), and in favor of more diverse recognition of the uniformed services.

Any reminder to our veterans that their services are recognized and appreciated is a great way to celebrate Army Day.

Celebrate the U. S. Army!

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