November 11...A Time for Remembrance
As the weekend nears, it’s a good time to think about how you and your family will be spending Veterans Day. This year, the day falls on a Sunday, which means the legal holiday is Monday. But however and whenever you choose to celebrate, try to keep an emphasis on what the day is really about—honor, remembrance, and gratitude.
How’d it All Start?
About one hundred years ago on the morning of November 11, 1918, World War I fighting was about to end. The Allied nations and Germany entered into an armistice at 11:00am and the hostilities finally stopped. A year later, President Wilson declared the first Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. It’s since undergone a name change to reflect appreciation of veterans from all wars, both past and present.
Ways to Celebrate
There are lots of easy, family-friendly ways to celebrate, and you can do it right from your own home. You can use it as a teaching opportunity to show your children about respect and gratitude for the United States servicemen and women.
1. Get the glue sticks out. Make it a day of fun crafts and decorating the house with patriotism as the theme. Red white and blue face paint, finger painting, homemade flags, let your imagination go wild with ways to spruce up your home with some Veterans Day decorations.
2. Volunteer. Head out to your local VA hospital to visit with the veterans there. Check online for visiting hours and rules, and see if there are service opportunities available to help out. Your time is often the most valuable gift you can give.
3. Express your gratitude to those currently serving. Take a moment to write a note to someone who is deployed. This might be someone you know, or it could be a complete stranger. Either way, they’ll be delighted to know that someone back home cares.
4. Have a moment of silence. At 11:00am, hold your own brief moment to stop and think about those who have sacrificed everything in behalf of our country. In the busy and often crazy world we live in, it’s good to be still for a minute or two to really think and ponder in thanks for what these brave men and women have done.
5. Head to a community celebration. Your local community is likely to have events planned, such as a flag-raising ceremony or a parade, that are great opportunities to meet local military members and show your support for them. The gathering might include reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthem.
Veterans Day is a perfect time to spend the day with loved ones in thanks for those who have gone without their own loved ones while they are out defending our rights and liberties.
Courtney writes about VA news for MilitaryVALoan.com, a resource where veterans can learn about VA loan benefits and save money on their VA mortgages.