Each year, November 11 is set aside to honor America’s veterans — the men and women who have so bravely defended our country at home and abroad. Veterans Day as we now know it was established June 1, 1954, when Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars, not just veterans of World War I. The day celebrates America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
It’s important that our veterans, past and present, are not forgotten. It’s also important to note the distinction between Veterans Day — a day to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military — and Memorial Day — a day to honor specifically military personnel who died in service to their country.
As Veterans Day approaches, start planning now how you’ll celebrate the day, the veterans you know personally, and the veterans in your community. Don’t allow the day to pass by without showing your appreciation for veterans and their service to our country. As you prepare, check out these ideas for supporting veterans at home and in your community, as well ways to support veterans all year round.
Support veterans at home.
Wearing a yellow ribbon or displaying one outside your home is a universal symbol of support for veterans and active-duty service members. Without leaving your home, you can also donate to organizations like IFHF that support the military. Veterans Day is also a great time to fly your U.S. flag with pride. Review this resource to make sure you’re observing the proper rules for displaying your flag. If you know a veteran personally, send him or her a note of thanks and encouragement. It’s the small things that count the most.
Support veterans in the community.
Nearly every community has a Veterans Day parade or public observation. Show up. Your presence is needed at these events to show veterans and service members that their community supports them. Check your city’s website to find out where and when your city’s Veteran’s Day parade or event is happening. Another way to support veterans in your community is to visit a VA hospital or retirement community where veterans live. Many VA facilities have special events on Veterans Day. Take an hour of your day to visit with a veteran and learn his or her story. It’s important that our veterans are heard and that their stories become part of our country’s legacy of service.
Support veterans all year round.
One simple way to support veterans throughout the year is by shopping at veteran-owned businesses. You can use resources like BuyVeteran.com to find veteran-owned businesses in your area. Another way to support veterans is to express your gratitude when you meet veterans or uniformed service members. Tell them how much you appreciate their service to our country. If you have children, be sure to explain to them the importance of veterans — who they are and how they served our country. Pass on the proud history of our nation’s veterans to future generations.
Don’t let Veterans Day go unnoticed. Think through how you’ll honor a veteran in your life or in your community. IFHF is committed to serving our military personnel, and we thank our veterans for their service to country.