By John Coleman
RIVERSIDE, CA- The Kansas Ave SDA Church observed it’s 25th Annual Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who serve the United States Armed Forces. Armed Forces Day, is traditionally celebrated the third Saturday in May as part of Armed Forces Week.
The history behind the observance is for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country that President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish. The one-day celebration then stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. It was on August 31, 1949, that Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force Days.
This year, the celebration observance was held on Saturday, May 26th in Riverside, California.
US Navy Commander, (ret) Paul S. Anderson, DD, was the Keynote Speaker.
The following presentations were presented by Armed Forces Committee Chair, Colonel, William Howe:
The Committee ‘Military Award’ recipients were:
Harland Ben Sykes, for the quality and extent of his services to church and community
Greta L. Hamilton, USAF Major, (ret), who was unable to attend but represented by family members.
US Navy Commander (ret) Paul S. Anderson was awarded the Committee ‘Eagle Award, for God and Country’
US Navy Veteran (100 years of age), Frank Verano who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, was awarded the Committee ‘Eagle Award, for God and Country.’
Woodie Rucker-Hughes, President of the Riverside Chapter NAACP, in coordination with Kansas Avenue SDA Church Armed Forces Committee, presented the NAACP Veterans Medal to USAF (ret) Tuskegee Airman Harlan Leonard.
USMC, Sgt. William Farmer played “Taps” in memorial service honoring ‘Fallen Comrades.’