While many people appreciate having November 11th, or Veterans Day, off from work or school and look forward to a day relaxation, it is important to remember the significance of this national holiday. Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, began in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War significantly increased the number of veterans in our country, the holiday became known as Veterans Day. Since then, Veterans Day has been recognized as a day to honor American veterans for their patriotism, service, and dedication to our country.
Many of our residents have served in the armed forces and know firsthand the sacrifice required to protect our country. And while not all of our residents spent time in the military, many of them have spouses, siblings, parents, and friends who are veterans. We honor them every day, but especially on Veterans Day.
While most public gatherings and celebrations have been put on hold this year, here are some ways that you can show your appreciation for the veterans in your life and across your community.
Make a Donation
Many organizations offer support and services to our veterans, and your donations can go a long way. Check out organizations such as Disabled American Veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Homes for Our Troops. If your community has a Veterans of Foreign Wars post, reach out to them to inquire about how you can help or donate.
Encourage family members that can safely practice social distancing to volunteer their time at a local veteran’s organization or hospital. Many VA facilities serve a special Veterans Day lunch that you may be able to help prepare and serve. Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website to review revised volunteer protocols and find local volunteer opportunities.
Sending mail is an excellent way to send a special message of thanks. Get the whole family involved by writing letters or poems and drawing pictures of appreciation. If you don’t know a veteran, organizations such as A Million Thanks and your local veteran services can help get your mail to a deserving veteran.
Fly the Flag
On Veterans Day, you can show your support by flying the American flag at your home or business. To show the utmost respect, review federal regulations on properly handling and displaying the American flag.
Visit the Great Outdoors
On Veterans Day, admission to national parks is free for veterans. If you have a loved one that is also a veteran, invite them to spend the day outdoors with you. This time can be an excellent opportunity for bonding and asking your loved one about their military experience. Plus, spending time in the great outdoors does wonders for our emotional and physical health!
No matter how you choose to celebrate Veterans Day this year, remember that even the smallest efforts are appreciated!