Did you know there are 19 million American veterans who served at least in 1 war?
Veterans Day is the time of the year when we remember those who served and sacrificed their lives for our country. It’s only natural to honor and respect those who defended us.
So here are some tips to help you have a respectful Veterans Day celebration.
Reflect on What Veterans Day Means
Don’t just celebrate with food, drinks, and games, reflect on the meaning of Veterans Day. You can do this by reading about past wars and conflicts, as well as reading about individual veterans who fought in them. You could also try watching some movies or documentaries about war or even read some books about it too.
Be Respectful When Talking About War and Politics
This can be a hot-button issue when talking to veterans because they have seen it all first-hand. Try not to get into arguments over politics or wars. Instead, focus on thanking them for their service and asking questions about their experience in uniform.
Have a Patriotic Celebration
If you’re hosting a party, be sure to incorporate patriotic decorations into your table setting. Use red, white, and blue plates, napkins, cups, and utensils to add some color. You can also place signs along the table that read “Freedom Is Not Free” or “We Salute Our Heroes.”
Invite Your Family Members and Friends Over for Dinner or Drinks
You can make it as fancy or as casual as you like, but try to find something that everyone will enjoy doing together. If you’re not sure what to do, ask them what their favorite foods are or what they’d like to see on TV. Make sure there’s plenty of food and drink available, so no one goes hungry or thirsty.
Help a Veteran Get Benefits
Help veterans get benefits they’ve earned by filing claims on their behalf if they can’t do so themselves. Some vets don’t know how to file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides health care and other benefits to eligible vets.
Others don’t want to bother with paperwork when they’re already struggling with physical or mental health issues related to wartime deployments or post-deployment life stresses, such as divorce. If you’re helping a veteran with claims, make sure you know what documents the VA requires to process them.
Go on a Field Trip
One Veterans Day celebration idea is to visit a local center or go to an event at a nearby park or school where there are veterans present. This will give your children the chance to meet some real-life heroes and ask them questions about their service.
Make a Donation to Your Local Veteran’s Organization or Charity
If you want to help veterans but aren’t sure where to start, look for local groups that focus on helping veterans transition back into civilian life after their service has ended. This includes anything from finding housing and employment opportunities to connecting them with other veteran peers.
Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter That Serves Veterans
Many military members end up homeless after they leave the service. This is because of untreated physical or mental health issues that may have been caused by their time in combat zones or other circumstances during their service time. Volunteer at an organization where you can interact with these vets daily and show them support for all they’ve done for us as civilians.
Visit a Cemetery for a Special Ceremony
There are special ceremonies at many cemeteries across the country, including Arlington National Cemetery. Visitors can pay their respects by remembering those who sacrificed everything for our freedom. This is one of the most important things we can do as Americans, and visiting these sites is an incredible way to do just that.
Designate November 11 as “Support Our Troops Day”
You can honor veterans by wearing red, white, and blue clothes, flying an American flag outside your home, and displaying stickers with patriotic messages on your car window or bumper. You can even give out challenge coins as gifts for veterans. Consider displaying flags at schools, churches, and government offices around town.
Take Part in a Parade
For many people, Veterans Day means watching parades of marching bands and organizations riding through town in their uniforms and waving flags from open-top cars. If you live near such an event, take your family along so they can see how important it is to honor our veterans and support them during their transition from military service back into civilian life.
Honor Those Who Are Still Serving
Think about how you can support those who are currently serving or have recently returned from deployment. Consider inviting a veteran to speak at your event or sending care packages to deployed troops.
If you know any service members, invite them over for dinner or call them to see how they’re doing during their time away from home. They may come to visit your family for the day or evening with little notice.
Don’t Buy into the Commercialization of Patriotism
There is nothing wrong with showing appreciation for veterans and paying tribute with donations or volunteering your time at local veteran support organizations.
However, remember that there is more to Veterans Day than simply buying red-white-and-blue merchandise or attending parties that promote drinking alcohol. Be careful when wearing military hats as well. These actions can be offensive to many veterans.
Veterans Day Celebration: This Is How to Honor Those Who Have Protected Our Freedoms
For Veterans Day, it’s easy to focus solely on our military servicemen and servicewomen.
However, while they are a vital part of the day, they shouldn’t be the only part. Ultimately, your Veterans Day celebration is just another way to remember the people who sacrificed for our country.
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