Veterans Day should be every day! With all that our service members (and their families) sacrifice for our country, a day just doesn’t seem like enough to celebrate their service. While Veterans Day has, in some places, become a more commercial holiday with sales, specials, and deals, the parades that still take place in the streets of cities and towns across the country remind us of its true purpose: To honor and thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Here are a few ways to celebrate Veterans Day the right way:
Know the Purpose of the Day: Perhaps the most important way to observe Veterans Day is to remember that it is not Memorial Day. Memorial Day is observed to honor fallen military service members, who lost their lives while serving their country. Veterans Day is observed to honor veterans who have served, and those who are serving.
Share a Story: It isn’t hard to find a veteran in your community; it’s estimated that there are around 20 million of them in the United States. Spend some time with them! Learn about their experience, hear their stories. And, with permission and careful sensitivity, share their stories with your own friends, family, and perhaps even on social media. It’s through the telling of our veterans’ stories that we better understand exactly what it is that they have endured and why they deserve our unwavering appreciation.
Participate in the National Moment of Silence: In 2016, a bill called the Veterans Day Moment of Silence became law. At 11:11am Pacific Standard Time, on Veterans Day, 11/11, a 2 minute moment of silence takes place for those who would like to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice made by our veterans.
Wear the Red Poppy: The red poppy has a storied history which led it to become the symbol for veterans. The American Legion distributes them around Veterans Day and Memorial Day in exchange for donations to help support local disabled and hospitalized veterans.
Support Organizations That Support Veterans: There are numerous causes that benefit veterans, all which rely on donations to achieve their mission. Our mission is to build centers to treat our service members (active or not) who have sustained a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress: the invisible wounds of war. So far, 8 centers have been completed with another currently underway. 10 centers are planned in total. With over a 90% rate of recovery at our centers, we’re actively healing our heroes and helping them return to civilian life, or Active Duty for those still serving. Show your support today with a donation.