Veterans Day reminds us of our debt to veterans and the sacrifices they made for us and our country.
First of all, I would like to say thank you.
Thanks veterans for your sacrifice.
Thank you for your selflessness.
Thanks for bravely serving to give us freedom.
Yet Veterans Day can frustrate us at times. Let me explain.
Fall flashes before your eyes. Day after day of work. Endless activities. The fall colors have (for the most part) come and gone. Then the inevitable happens–Veterans Day arrives.
We hear about it all over the news. We know we should celebrate veterans. But then you feel guilty, because you’ve done nothing for Veterans Day.
I understand. Trust me. I do.
In this post I hope to equip you to celebrate and thank veterans in a meaningful way. Take a look below.
10 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate and Thank Veterans
1) Stop and Say Thank You
This sounds extremely easy; however, I wish more people would do it.
Be on the lookout for hats, shirts, lapel pins, flags, etc, that signify a veteran nearby. Then, speak up and speak graciously.
2) Write a Handwritten Note
It feels like people never use paper anymore. Do something different.
Write a brief handwritten note to a veteran–even if you don’t give it to them on Veterans Day. If writing isn’t your thing, then send a personalized email, text, video or other digital communication.
3) Ask About Their Experience, Then Be Quiet
My grandfather shares the most incredible war stories I’ve ever heard. But, not all veterans want to discuss their story and some understandably want to see if you really care before they share.
But ask them about their past. Learn about what they did, where they served, and who they encountered.Sometimes the best way to show you care isn't to speak, but to listen. Click To Tweet
4) Attend a Veterans Day Parade
Parades give everyone a unique opportunity to celebrate veterans. Parents can take their kids. Senior citizens can enjoy their families and celebrate, while sitting if needed. They allow everyone to say thank you through their presence.
5) Help the Spouse/Children of a Deployed Soldier
You probably know multiple spouses of deployed military (or deceased veterans). Take the time to show them extra care on Veterans Day.
If you haven’t stopped to figure out who they are, who could you ask?
6) Buy Their Meal at a Restaurant
Go out to eat somewhere. Look for a veteran and offer to buy their meal. Even better, buy their meal and the meal of everyone sitting with the veteran.
7) Teach Your Kids to Respect Their Elders
Take a few minutes to teach your child(ren) the importance of respecting their elders. (This includes middle-aged veterans too.) See if you can come up with a creative way to accomplish this.
Admittedly this change won’t happen over night, but why not start now?
8) Teach Your Kids About Sacrifice
Then, think about what examples of sacrifice you could share with them. How could you serve someone sacrificially with your child(ren) today?
Be sure to connect this activity to Veterans Day. You can describe the way veterans sacrificed for us and connect it to why we sacrificed for others today to commemorate them.
9) Volunteer at a Local Veterans Organization
Find a local veterans organization and ask them how you can volunteer. You might be surprised of all the ways you can make a meaningful impact on veterans.
10) Display A Flag Somewhere
If you have never served in the military or left your country, you may not have a strong emotional bond with your flag. But virtually everyone who has ever served their country in the military will appreciate seeing their flag. It serves as a reminder of home. It reminds them of why they served their country in the military.
In what other ways have you celebrated Veterans Day? Let me know.
This will likely look different for all of us and different in each country.
Now, what do you plan to do today to celebrate veterans?