Election Day has come and gone, and the focus has shifted to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away, and Christmas will be here before you know it.
But Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday we celebrate in November! Veterans Day is quickly approaching on Nov. 11. This year is a significant Veterans Day because it marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Originally, Nov. 11 was celebrated as Armistice Day to recognize the end of the war and became a national holiday in 1938.
As the years passed, Americans began using that day to honor the men and women who served in uniform. Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Since 1954, Americans have treated Veterans Day as one of our most important holidays. We take a few moments on Veterans Day to honor and appreciate those who’ve served and protected our freedoms.
Not sure what you can do to thank veterans this Sunday? Here are a few ideas:
- Attend an event – Find out if your town holds a Veterans Day event or parade. Some organizations may hold road races or community events in your area as well. Show your gratitude by showing up. This is a great way to connect with veterans in your community.
- Visit elderly veterans – Take an hour or two to visit your local VA hospital or nursing home. These veterans have incredible stories to tell. You can learn so much about them and yourself by spending a few moments connecting with older veterans. Make sure you check visitor policies before you go.
- Connect with your veteran friends – Chances are you know at least one veteran. Take a moment to let them know how grateful you are for their service. If they’re open to talking about their time in the military, engage with them to learn more about their service and experiences.
- Give to a charity or organization – If you have the means, donate your time or resources to a charity or service organization that helps veterans and their families. There’s an organization that covers just about every service imaginable, from helping vets buy homes to adaptive sports for those injured in war, to providing scholarships for military children. Do some research and find a cause you believe in!
- Educate yourself – There are many ways you can learn more about veterans and their lives after the military. Watch a documentary like Concerned Veterans for America Foundation’s The Care They’ve Earned or Netflix’s Medal of Honor. Check your local library for books by veterans on their wartime experiences and their journeys home. Visit a local museum, battlefield or memorial to learn more about the men and women who’ve served.
Here’s a bonus tip for veterans and military families: companies all over the country want to give back by offering free meals or discounted services. Take advantage of cool offers from restaurants, grocery stores, sports organizations and more!
Get out there this Veterans Day and thank a veteran for answering our country’s call. To all veterans, thank you for your service and sacrifice!