Message on the Observance of Armed Forces Day

May 19, 1983

The 34th observance of Armed Forces Day on May 21, 1983, provides all Americans the opportunity to honor the dedicated men and women who serve in our nation's military services.

Over the years, those wearing the uniforms of our services have played a critical role in the preservation of America's security and freedom. They continue to do so. While enduring the hardships of family separation and service in faraway lands, they stand ready to ensure the security of our country and the preservation of freedom in peace. In observing this year's Armed Forces Day, we should make special note of our Armed Forces in the Middle East and elsewhere whose contributions and sacrifices give hope for a more peaceful tomorrow.

The pride in service to our country is expressed not only by dedication to military duties but also by service to fellow citizens. Wherever they are stationed, our military forces have earned respect and admiration for freely volunteering their time and energies to help their neighbors. They are loyal citizens of their nation, good neighbors in their communities, and courageous defenders of our way of life.

We are blessed to live in a society that fosters such unselfish service. On this special day, let us all join in expressing our gratitude and appreciation to our fellow countrymen and women who serve so nobly in the Armed Forces.

Ronald Reagan