11 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day
by Elisa Essner
Veterans Day is almost upon us.
It’s the one day set aside each November to honor those who have served and continue to serve our nation. The holiday also offers a great opportunity to teach civilians about the sacrifice service members and their families make year-round. How do you plan to celebrate this year? Here are some ideas for activities to try at home, school and work.
Before you get started, you might want to brush up with this brief history of the holiday.
- Wear a red poppy or yellow ribbon to show support for veteran and active duty service members.
- Organize a care-package packing party. If you don’t know someone currently stationed overseas, contact a nearby base or an organization like Blue Star Moms to identify troops in need.
- Visit a veterans’ hospital. Chatting with elderly or injured veterans is a great way to brighten their day, plus you’re likely to hear some highly fascinating stories about their time in the service.
- Get creative. Check out this article for some patriotic craft ideas. For young children, a fun project is a great way to start teaching about the holiday and its importance.
- Encourage your child’s teacher to develop a Veterans Day lesson plan. A timeline or short writing project is a great way for students to learn about the holiday’s history. This article offers a few other educational ideas.
- Invite a veteran — a parent, grandparent or faculty member, perhaps — to speak to students about what it’s like to be in the military. Don’t know any veterans to invite? Contact your local VA; their Public Affairs Officer will likely be able to identify a good guest speaker. There are many veterans who work at VA facilities and would be happy to be to speak to students.
- Take time out of the day to acknowledge veterans in your workplace. Consider an office-wide coffee break featuring these remembrance poppy cookies or a yellow ribbon cake. You just need your favorite cake mix, yellow frosting and a ribbon pan. During the event, make sure to recognize each veteran employee. (Plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss anyone.)
Find an event in your community
- Want to find a local Veterans Day event? Many communities hold parades and vigils. Contact your local VA for more information.
Honor veterans year-round
- Celebrate with service. Show service members your gratitude throughout the year with a home-cooked meal, thank you note or day of volunteering. Check out this post from HandsOnBlog for more specific ideas.
- Support veteran-owned businesses. Websites like buyveteran.com can help you identify such businesses in your area.
- Express thanks. Whenever you see someone in uniform, extend a simple word of gratitude or small act of kindness to show how much their service means to you.