armed forces day ‘16

A group of Army soldiers carry the American flag and state “Battle Born” flag down Main Street during the Armed Forces parade in Hawthorne on Saturday.

For 66 years, Mineral County residents have gathered on the third Saturday in May to honor and celebrate U.S. service members.

Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to keep the festivities down, with terrible winds, the people of Mineral County retaliated and celebrated in true Hawthorne fashion.

The Mineral County High Desert Arts Show, Hawthorne Elementary Patriotic Program, El Capitan Fireworks Show and Barley’s Annual Chili Cook-off were only some of the events that kicked-off the long weekend.

Saturday morning brought out friends and family that pilgrimage home for the event.

To start off the parade, the Hawthorne Elks Lodge holds their annual flag ceremony where the history of the U.S. flag is discussed.

With the blast of the noon whistle and the flyover of airplanes, the parade begins its procession down Main Street where patriotism is evident. Not just with the show of the U.S. flag but by the many servicemen, active and veteran.

Armed Forces Day was created to replace Army, Navy and Air Forces Days in August of 1949 – by the unification of the Armed Forces all under one department – the Department of Defense.

An article written by the New York Times describes Armed Forces Day as, “This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces…to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”

Photos of the 66th Annual Armed Forces Day celebration can be found within the Independent-News this week.