Veterans Day is a very important and special day to the American people. It is a time to honor and thank our veterans for their tremendous bravery and sacrifice. If it was not for their incredible efforts, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that we do.
Originally known as Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, marked the official end of the first world war. After some 20 million soldiers from both sides had given their lives, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the brutality of the great war ended.
Each year, we take time on this day to remember the brave men and women who have served in our military. If you want to help honor veterans on Veterans Day, we’ve compiled several helpful ways to celebrate the veterans in your life.
One of the best ways to show your appreciation to our veterans is by taking an interest in their lives. Try to set aside some time to speak with the veterans in your life and hear their stories. With respect and sensitivity, ask questions about their service and the experiences they’ve had. Not only will it help you have a better understanding of their service, but it will also help you appreciate and respect them that much more.
Consider hosting a luncheon to bring together veterans and civilians in your life to celebrate Veterans Day. Guests can learn about military experiences, show their appreciation for the veterans’ service, and build camaraderie and respect. It doesn’t matter whether the event is formal or casual as long as it shows your respect and appreciation.
A great way to help educate students about the importance of Veterans Day is by inviting a veteran to speak. It can be a parent or grandparent of a student, or possibly a fellow member of the faculty. The veteran can teach students about life in the military and why we celebrate Veterans Day. If you don’t know any veterans, contact your local Veteran Affairs office. They will likely be able to connect you with a veteran in your community who would be willing to speak at your school.
Nothing truly shows your respect and thanks like taking the time to sit down and write a thank you card by hand. Start compiling a list of all the veterans you know. Once you have your list, take some time to write each of them a note thanking them for their service. Something as simple as writing a card is a small gesture that can have a big impact. Over time, continue to add names to your list and make your card an annual tradition. Much like Christmas cards around the holidays, it will give the veterans in your life something to look forward to each year as Veterans Day approaches.
If you have veterans in your life that are currently stationed overseas, organize a care package from home for them. You could even turn this into a party inviting others to bring items to include and create packages for veterans in need. Contact your local base or an organization like Blue Star Mothers of America to get connected with veterans who could benefit from your care packages.
In 2015, the United States Senate passed an act calling on the American people to observe 2 minutes of silence on Veterans Day. The act states “The President shall issue each year a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe two minutes of silence on Veterans Day in honor of the service and sacrifice of veterans throughout the history of the Nation”.
Depending on the timezone you live in, the moment of silence is observed at different times of the day so that the entire country may participate together. Please check below for your designated time.
3:11 p.m. Atlantic standard time;
2:11 p.m. eastern standard time;
1:11 p.m. central standard time;
12:11 p.m. mountain standard time;
11:11 a.m. Pacific standard time;
10:11 a.m. Alaska standard time; and
9:11 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian standard time
How do you plan to honor the veterans in your life? Let us know in the comment section below.
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