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Honor American Veterans on Veterans Day

Updated on March 16, 2013

The history

Veteran's Day has been celebrated in the United States since 1921 when Congress passed legislation to honor the courageous men and women who have fought for our freedom and to protect us from harm. November 11 was designated as Veteran's Day as it was the day the Armistice was signed that ended World War I.

In 1926, the day was re-titled "Armistice Day" but in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower changed it back to Veteran's Day and so it remains.

The soldiers

We live in the greatest country in the world thanks to the men and women who have served in every branch of our military. The soldiers of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard have fought for and defended the rights we hold so precious. Far too many made the ultimate sacrifice and far too many have come home with wounds visible and invisible. And yes, there are those who have yet to come home.

Jose Narosky once said - “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”

Each and every one of our military men and women deserve to be recognized for the service to us; to be honored every day for the price they have paid on behalf of the rest of us. We may never know the pain they bring home or the fear that invades their dreams, but we owe them our gratitude. They are real heroes and Veteran's Day is but one day of the year when we can say - thank you for your service.

What can we do?

There are many ways we can recognize and honor our veterans on this designated day. These brave men and women are all around us. They may be your neighbor or the clerk at your local market. They may be your dentist or an EMT for the Rescue Squad down the road. Sadly they can also be the homeless person sleeping in the park or the drunk living under the bridge. This is the shame we still live with here in America but underneath their rough exterior, they are still the brave soldier who wore the uniform of our military and they deserve our respect and...our help. It's up to us to find them. Many have turned in their uniform and quietly assimilated into the society they fought to protect. Their service may be long forgotten in our memory but it is still all too fresh in theirs. Let's do something nice for them on November 11. Here are some suggested ideas but I'm sure you have ideas of your own. Just please, do something to show some gratitude.

  • Fly your flag.
  • Wear a lapel pin that says "thank you".
  • Attend a local memorial service in your area and don't leave until you've shaken hands and thanked as many of our service men and women as possible.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper to say thanks.
  • Visit a local American Legion Hall, Marine Corp League, recruiting office, etc. and say thank you.
  • Take sandwiches or blankets to a local shelter and ask that they be used for a veteran.
  • Stand on a street corner with a sign that says "thank you for your service".
  • Take a veteran to lunch and pay for it!
  • Many restaurants are offering a free lunch to Veteran's on November 11. Make sure the veteran from WWII or Korea gets there if they no longer drive.
  • Make a donation to a charity such as the Wounded Warrior Project.
  • Write a letter or send a package to .
  • Adopt a soldier or send a care package.
  • Visit your local Veterans Administration Hospital. Just sit in the lobby and greet the soldiers and families who wander in and out.
  • Call a nursing home in your area and ask if there is a veteran there. Take a gift or candy or flowers and ask that they be delivered anonymously.

Pay it forward

It's a cliche phrase I know but takes very little effort. If you have children, don't leave them out of your plans for the day. As a parent, it is your job to instill in your children the respect that our veterans deserve. Teach them to recognize service to our country as something to be proud of.

And now, while I have my chance, I want to recognize all the writers and readers of my hub here who have served bravely in the military of the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America. Thank you for your service. Thank you for protecting this land I love so and for keeping us safe from those that hate us. To the family of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, thank you. Thank you for loving a soldier and sharing them with this great country. To all veterans, from every war and every branch of service, thank you.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.


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