On May 14-15 the Faribault American Legion Family: The Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion, are hosting the Third District Convention within the Department of Minnesota.

The district’s configuration was established to be the same as the 10 Minnesota legislative districts when the American Legion was chartered in 1919. This district extends east to the Wisconsin border, south to Pine Island and Faribault, west to North Mankato and northeast as far as Forest Lake to make a crescent around The Cities to include the southern suburbs of Eagan, Apple Valley, Chaska and Shakopee. The “Thundering Third” has 64 Legion posts, 47 Auxiliary units, and 35 SAL squadrons. The total membership of just the Legionnaires in this district is over 10,400 of current or former members of the Armed Forces.

National Armed Forces Day is observed on the third Saturday of May, the 15th, which this year coincides with our hosting the District American Legion Convention. Wouldn’t it just be awesome to have all streets of Faribault lined with American flags to welcome these veterans to our town?

First observed on 20 May 1950, Armed Forces Day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.

Aside from the Armed Forces Day, the United States Armed Forces and the National Guard Bureau are honored on the following days:

• 29 March: Vietnam Veterans Day (All U.S. military branches)

• Last Monday of May: Memorial Day

• 14 June: Flag Day and Army Day

• 4 August: Coast Guard Day

• 18 September: Air Force Day

• 13 October: US Navy birthday

• 27 October: Navy Day

v10 November: Marine Corps birthday

• 11 November: Veterans Day

13 December: National Guard Day

Armed Forces Day is an unofficial U.S. holiday for honoring those currently serving in the armed forces. Veterans Day on Nov. 11 honors those who have served in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May, so in 2021, Memorial Day will be May 31st.

Currently, the United States Armed Forces active-duty personnel number 1.3 million men and women. This is less than one-half of 1 percent of the U.S. population. Of this number,160,000 active-duty personnel are deployed outside the United States and its territories in more than 150 countries around the world on peacekeeping missions and protecting our freedoms.

Let’s honor these brave service members and veterans by flying the American flag on May 15.

Karen Rasmussen is a member of the Faribault American Legion Auxiliary.

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