7 Unique Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day
Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2018
Each year, November 11 is set aside to celebrate and thank our nation’s veterans. Veterans Day can be celebrated in a variety of ways, from parades to patriotic parties.
Learn more about the unique ways to celebrate Veterans Day and honor, remember and thank the thousands of brave servicemen and women who served and are serving this country.
7 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day
This November 11 is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Veterans Day in some easy and practical ways.
While it is always a good idea to thank any veteran you know or meet, these seven ideas are helpful to our nation’s veteran community in very real ways:
1. Donate your time and energy.
Perhaps you want to make a charitable donation in person; a great way to do that is by offering your time as a volunteer to a veterans organization. A quick search on a tool like "Charity Navigator' can help identify local organizations and with a call or message, you can easily get in touch with the group’s volunteer coordinator. Charitable groups need a wide range of support, not just for large-scale events, but in daily tasks as well. You might consider donating some of your professional skills or even just offering to help with the smaller needs, like landscaping, maintenance or office tasks. It takes large and small jobs to keep an organization running and help behind the scenes can be a huge help to the people the organization benefits: our nation’s veterans.
2. Educate the next generation.
Whether it is your own children, nieces or nephews, or those participating in a civic group, it is our responsibility to help them understand what veterans are, what they have done and how we can show proper gratitude to them. Consider the younger people in your scope of influence and take the time to sit down and talk with them about Veterans Day. Perhaps take them to a local spot where many veterans may be – like your local veterans memorial or VFW – and encourage them to meet and thank local veterans. You can even help them make small cards or crafts to share with veterans they meet along the way, like simple red poppies made out of paper. Teach them the story of Flanders Field as a way for them to understand the sacrifices so many have made over time.
3. Help your local wounded warriors.
Whether they are young veterans recovering from service-related injuries or older veterans fighting disease, your nearest VA hospital is home to many veterans in need. These facilities can always use volunteers, from tasks as simple as handing out coffee to greeting visitors. You don’t have to have a special skill to help and even the smallest gestures can make life easier for our veterans and their families. Additionally, many VA hospitals have lists available for the needs of their patients. Things like homemade blankets, reading materials or small hygiene items make excellent small care packages that can be easily put together and handed out by you or your organization. A VA facility is another great place for children to hand out homemade cards and be able to thank real veterans in person.
4. Make a charitable donation.
There is a long list of trustworthy charities that support our nation’s warriors and today it is easier than ever to ensure that the charity you choose is reputable. Consider what causes are near to your heart: homeless veterans, veterans struggling with PTSD or other mental health issues. There are even organizations that help train service dogs for veterans and others that focus solely on providing new outdoor adventures (like fly fishing and horseback riding) to disabled veterans. A good place to start is the veterans organizations page on a site like "Charity Navigator" that give ratings to non-profit organizations based on several variables. With a little research, you can help ensure that your donation will be put to good use.
5. Share your support.
Communication today has never been easier or more convenient. Through social media and other digital channels, you can easily remind your friends and families of Veterans Day and encourage others to pause and remember the real meaning of the holiday. Whether it’s a simple post, sharing a story of a heroic veteran, or tagging your post with #VeteransDay, you can add your voice to keep veterans a top story on November 11. If you know a veteran, you can add his or her story to A Place for Mom's "Wall of Honor" and share it out on your social media channels as well.
6. Support a veteran-owned business.
A very practical way to support your local veterans is to support their businesses. It’s a fact that veterans make particularly good entrepreneurs; in fact, there are more than three million veteran-owned businesses (VOBs) in the U.S., and 30% of all American business owners are veterans. Since 2007, the number of veteran-owned businesses has grown by 60%. The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) regularly releases a membership list that is a great place to start. You can also do a quick local search; some VOBs even note their designation on business cards, signs, or business listings. By choosing to spend money with these organizations, you are directly contributing to the well-being of a veteran and his or her family.
7. Visit your local veterans cemetery.
For the thousands of veterans who have died over generations, their tombstones serve as a reminder of the lives they led and the sacrifices they made. Taking a moment out of your busy life to stop at a veterans’ cemetery – or at the veterans’ graves at any local cemetery, marked with the white, government-issued headstone – can be a meaningful way to show your respect and gratitude. Many organizations like your local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) often use Veterans Day to put American flags out on the graves of veterans. They can always use a hand; consider reaching out to them to see when and where they’ll be doing this and show up to help. If no one is at your local cemetery, consider taking a few moments to clean away the overgrown weeds and dead flowers that may be on veterans' grave. This is a simple and thoughtful way to show your appreciation of veterans past.
By taking the time to pause and remember the true reason behind November 11, you can help ensure that our nation continues to respect and value our veterans, even if it means simply impacting those in your small circle of influence.
Our nation is built on the bravery and sacrifice of veterans and pausing to honor them is vital to the American culture. It is up to us to ensure this tradition is always properly appreciated and observed.