“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller
Each year, November 11 is set aside to honor all those who have fought to keep our country safe, and with more than 23 million veterans currently in our nation, chances are you know someone who has served in the military. Celebrating Veterans Day remains an important American tradition but it is a holiday that often goes overlooked.
So how do we recognize those who have sacrificed so much to protect our country? There are a few ways you can show your support, and can even continue the spirit of Veteran’s Day long after the holiday is over.
Veterans Day Activities That Honor Veterans
Veterans Day activities that your whole family can enjoy together will help to create stronger family bonds in this digital age, while also giving back to your community. Here are some ideas you can pursue:
1. Display your pride and support. Veterans Day is the perfect day to fly the American flag – just as long as you’re following the proper rules for display. If you’ll be out at a parade celebrating Veterans Day, wear a red poppy or yellow ribbon honoring veterans to let them know you appreciate their sacrifice.
2. Serve a home-cooked meal. Invite a veteran over for a nutritious meal or bring a meal to their home. If a veteran doesn't live in your neighborhood, you can make a food donation to the local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital or VA center. You can also check your local community for charitable events that serve meals to underprivileged Veterans and volunteer to help serve food.
3. Create a care package. To help active duty soldiers, invite family, friends and neighbors over for a care-package packing party. If you don’t know someone who is currently serving, contact Blue Star Mothers of America or a nearby base to find troops in need.
4. Visit a VA hospital. Sharing kind words with injured or elderly veterans will make a big impact on their day. Plus it’s a great chance to learn their story. If you’re shy about striking up a conversation, here are a few ice breakers to help get the conversation going:
- What did you do in the military?
- How long did you serve?
- Do you have a favorite moment during your service?
- Did any of your relatives or friends also serve?
- Why did you choose the service branch you did?
You can also help a veteran tell their story through the Veteran’s History Project, but while doing so, keep in mind that you want to be supportive without being intrusive.
5. Donate. There are countless organizations dedicated to benefitting veterans’ lives, and many of them rely on donations to continue their good work.
6. Spend the day with a vet. Treat a veteran or a military family to their favorite meal – many restaurants offer special deals and discounts for veterans. You can also visit a national park. Admission is free for all visitors on Veterans Day, and nature walks have been proven to boost physical and mental health.
7. Buy from veteran-owned businesses. Visit BuyVeteran.com to find local veteran businesses near you.
8. Get involved in the community. Many communities organize parades, services and vigils celebrating Veterans Day. Click here to find your local VA center and to learn more about the upcoming events in your community.
9. Give thanks. If you see someone in uniform, extend a word of thanks or a small act of kindness. Let them know what their service means to you.
Honoring Veterans, Every Day
While the Veterans Day activities listed above are great ways to recognize our nation’s veterans on November 11, it's important to remember that we should be honoring veterans every day and supporting them, especially as they age. Medical Guardian is proud to provide affordable and reliable medical alert systems and 24/7 monitoring services to veterans and their family members.