Today, thousands of people across the country mark the 53rd annual Armed Forces Day. The holiday was designated by the Department of Defense on August 31, 1949 to replace the separate Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force days.
In Colorado Springs, about 5,000 people gathered in Memorial Park Saturday afternoon to celebrate and remember our armed forces. It was the first celebration of its kind for the city.
Those who attended the celebration got a chance to get inside an Army Chinook helicopter. There was also a Humvee and a restored 1929 Ario Speed Wagon fire truck among other attractions.
Michael Wader and a committee of local residents organized the event because, Wader said, he feels people have forgotton about their armed forces in the last five to 10 years. He says it was a way to pay back the men and women for their service. Those in uniform agreed it was a good idea, they say it made them feel like they are doing something important that people appreciate.
Those who planned the event this year say they hope to see at least 10,000 people at the next celebration.