Every November, the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom all pause to honor those who’ve served in the military. The names and celebrations might differ somewhat, but each has roots in Armistice Day, commemorated on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany, ending the war at 11 am on 11/11 in 1918.
Another common thread throughout is the symbolism of the poppy. Inspired by a poem by a Canadian doctor, In Flanders Fields, the flower spread throughout the allied countries as the official symbol of remembrance and hope.
Veteran’s Day in the United States is always observed on November 11. That’s also the day Canada observes its Remembrance Day. In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday closest to November 11. Whatever the date or name of the celebration, it’s a good time to go out of your way to do something extra for the veteran in your life.
1. Commit to Volunteer
It’s easy to find many volunteering opportunities online. You could volunteer at a hospital or for a charity near you. Search in a veterans or military family classifieds to find an organization that could use your help. A quick Google search will turn up a handful of classifieds to choose from.
2. Express Your Gratitude
Veteran’s Day is a day set aside to honor veterans who have sacrificed their time and energy and risked their lives to keep our country safe and protect our nation’s freedom. A simple way to express your support is to simply say thank you. This candid acknowledgement of the value of their service will make a veteran’s day. If you can’t do it in person, then call, text, or email during this veteran’s holiday.
3. Donate to a Veteran’s Cause
Many causes support our veterans. If you’re too busy to volunteer at one before or after Veteran’s Day, the next best thing you can do is to donate money. It’s not how much you give that matters, but how you feel about giving. USO or the Wounded Warrior Project will appreciate your donation.
4. Buy a Vet a Cup of Coffee
Inviting vets to a coffeehouse will warm their hearts. Ask a few questions about their service to engage them. An alternative idea is to take a vet to a restaurant for lunch or dinner. Your generosity will give their Veteran’s Day meaning.
5. Attend a Veteran’s Day Parade
Why not show your support for your local Veteran’s Day parade by showing up in person? Your city’s VA office will be able to give you all the details about celebrations near you. Honoring veterans for their patriotism to our country is one of the noblest things you could do on Veteran’s Day.
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