National Airborne Day
annually on August 16th (since 2001)
National Airborne Day honors the nation's airborne forces. In 2001, the Senate passed a resolution making August 16 National Airborne Day, and called on the President to issue a proclamation. On August 14, 2002, George W. Bush issued a proclamation, and other resolutions and proclamations for the day have been made in subsequent years. This day was chosen because the first official parachute jump of the Army took place on it in 1940, which made it possible for troops to be dropped behind enemy lines. In July of 1940, the Army Parachute Test Platoon, which included forty-eight volunteers, began training, and in about a month's time they were successful. America's first combat jump took place in November 1942, when parachuters lept behind enemy lines in North Africa.
How to Observe National Airborne Day
National Airborne Day may be spent honoring service men and women paratroopers. President Bush's proclamation called to "observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities." Films that focus on the work of paratroopers could be watched, and books about paratroopers could be read. More can be learned about paratroopers on this site that is dedicated to connecting those who have served in a US airborne unit. The Airborne & Special Operations Museum could be visited. It is located near Fort Bragg, home of the 82nd Airborne Division, and it holds a ceremony each year for the day.