“Celebrating Freedom & Honoring Service” Armed Forces Day Banquet
Coming to Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, May 16, 2015
KC Convention Center Grand Ballroom to Host Patriotic Night Honoring All Who Serve
Kansas City, MO (December 17, 2014) – On Armed Forces Day – the United States of America honors the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who render the highest service any American can offer. National observances are traditionally held on the third Saturday of May.
Capturing that same spirit, Kansas City is showing its appreciation of the nation’s military might on Saturday, May 16, 2015 by hosting the first-ever “Celebrating Freedom & Honoring Service” Armed Forces Day Banquet. This patriotic assemblage will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center, Grand Ballroom, in Kansas City, MO. Military active personnel, reservists, veterans and their families, and the families of our fallen heroes will receive FREE admission with an RSVP.
The evening’s festivities commence at 6:00 p.m. Seating capacity is limited to 2,500. The general public is cordially invited to attend and extend the gratitude of a grateful nation to all military members present, their families and those on assignment around the world.
“As the War on Terror continues, we have the privilege, duty, and obligation to honor those who serve and sacrifice for our great country as members of the United States military,” proclaims event organizer Jack Barnes, Retired U.S. Navy. “Armed Forces Day is their day. We need broad-based patriotic support for this event from all citizens, and the business and corporate community, to appropriately honor all who serve, their families, and the families of our fallen heroes.”
According to Barnes – this Armed Forces Day Banquet is a first time event here in Kansas City. It will deliver a memorable evening of appetizing food from PB&J Catering, stirring presentations, live entertainment, and flowing tears. The lineup of speakers and entertainers currently includes:
- Master of Ceremonies – John Holt, Fox 4 News KC
- Featured Speakers:
o Donald “Doc” Ballard – Colonel, Kansas Army National Guard Retired, Medal of Honor Recipient
o Rex Pratt – Director/Producer of “Warriors In Their Own Words”
o Ilario Pantano – Director, North Carolina Division of Veteran Affairs
o John West, Community & Charitable Programs, ALON Brand dba 7-Eleven
o Steve Amerson – America’s Tenor, “Amazed by America”
o Nathan Osmond – “Stars and Stripes”
- Special Presentations:
o George Lutz – Honor & Remember
o Phil Taylor – The American Fallen Soldiers Project
“After the banquet, we want attendees walking away with a renewed sense of patriotism and a deeper understanding of the commitment, sacrifice, and honor our finest men and women have toward serving our nation in uniform,” adds Barnes. “The price of freedom isn’t free. Every veteran, and the loving families who supported them and feared daily for them, already understand. It’s a very personal decision for an individual to serve a higher cause than themselves regardless of the outcome to them personally.”
Presidential and Historical Chatter Addressing Armed Forces Day:
- “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifice. “
Harry S. Truman – Address to Joint Session of Congress, April 16, 1945
- On August 31, 1949, United States Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department – the Department of Defense.
- “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards to goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the united forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”
Harry S. Truman – Presidential Proclamation, February 27, 1950
- There were several other purposes for holding Armed Forces Day. It was a type of “educational program for civilians,” one in which there would be an increased awareness of the Armed Forces. It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job is performed and the role of the military in civilian life. It was a day for the military to showcase “state-of-the-art” equipment to the civilian population they were protecting.
- “I also request my fellow citizens to display the flag of the United States on Armed Forces Day, and by fitting exercises to demonstrate their recognition of the gallantry, sacrifice, and devotion to duty of the men and women of the armed forces.”
Harry S. Truman – Presidential Proclamation, April 2, 1951
- “This is a 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 the line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”
New York Times article published on May 17, 1952
- “It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower – Presidential Proclamation, 1953
- Our Armed Forces and our national defense system represent a judicious investment of the nation’s resources in the cause of peace. The return on this investment, in terms of national strength, shows the determination of the American people to preserve our way of life and to give hope to all who seek peace with freedom and justice.”
Neil McElroy – Former Secretary of Defense, 1959
- “The support of an informed American people is increasingly important to the Armed Forces in these day of rapid technology advance, quick reaction time, and grave threat to our freedom.”
Robert S. McNamara – Former Secretary of Defense, 1962
- “Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace – many of them away from their homes, their friends, and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth – that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”
John F. Kennedy – Presidential Proclamation, 1963
- “Armed Forces Day, above all, honors the dedicated individuals who wear the uniforms of their country. Each serviceman, wherever he may be, whatever his task, contributes directly and importantly to the defense of the nation. The task of each one is the task of all the Armed Forces: to protect the freedoms which underlie the greatness of America.”
Melvin Laird – Former Secretary of Defense, 1970
- “It is our obligation to ensure our troops have all they need to complete their missions abroad, but we must also support them when they return home. We must care for the families who serve alongside them and fulfill our promises today, tomorrow, and forever. And we must demonstrate our thanks by building a Nation worthy of their sacrifices, a Nation that lives up to our founding ideals and allows every citizen to write their chapter of the American story. I urge citizens to learn more about military service by attending and participating in the local observances of Armed Forces Day.”
Barack H. Obama – Presidential Proclamation, May 16, 2014
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