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National Airborne Day is a chance to pay tribute to the courage and dedication of airborne members of the Armed Forces. The special day has been marked every year since 1997, when it was created by American President George W Bush.

The date chosen for the occasion was the anniversary of the first official US Army parachute jump in 1940. Forty-eight volunteers, who were all members of the Parachute Test Platoon, carried out a successful jump in Georgia – showing the way forward to hundreds of thousands of paratroopers who later followed in their footsteps.

Each year on National Airborne Day, a ceremony is held at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is the home of the 82nd Airborne Division. There are also services in other parts of the US and paratroopers have marked the occasion in Afghanistan. If there isn’t a service in your area, you can still mark the day by holding a minute’s silence.

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