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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.


Submit a Comment

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, thank you. I have had computer problems for two days and just found this message. As usual, you and I agree on the bravery and unselfish sacrifice of our veterans.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, you have such a huge heart and such tremendous love for mankind. I appreciate your gratitude towards our veterans; my natural father flew in Nam and made a career of the USAF. We take freedom for granted. We owe our lives to the veterans and those who lost life in the name of freedom. Is there a more unselfish soul on this earth than those who volunteer to put their lives on the line to preserve ours? It brings Jesus to mind.....

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Maria. You always make me feel good about what I've done. Thank you so much. I had a boss one time that I really respected. He told me - "Don't bring me a problem unless you also bring me a possible solution". I guess I took that to heart. :-)

    I remember standing in Lafayette Park once during a demonstration I had organized. I had been stepping over homeless veterans all day long as they slept in the park. And then it hit me. Lafayette Park is right across the street from the Whitehouse. There was no way that Washington could not see that we had a problem. The snipers on the roof of the Whitehouse looked through their scopes at us all day long. Our politicians don't want to see so I feel a responsibility for trying to wake people up in hopes that one day our collective voices will change things.

    Hugs to you my friend. You are indeed one of those special people.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Linda,

    I am not at all surprised that you have written this memorable, honorable and meaningful tribute, with ways that each of us can give back in some way to these American heroes.

    I was staggered and saddened at the number of homeless that I worked with who were Veterans.

    You have a gift for inspiring and providing the resources needed for us all to something. Voted UP and UBI. Hugs, Maria

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey grandmapearl. That's a terrific gesture and I'm sure those men and women enjoy meeting you too. Thanks for sharing your idea and for visiting and voting too.

  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    These suggestions are terrific. I would add one more, and that is what my husband and I do when we see a man or woman in uniform in a restaurant. We offer to buy them a drink, even if it's a cup of coffee or a coke. This way we get to say thank you and find out a little bit about them, and let them know they are appreciated. Voted way Up.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi mpropp. Veterans come in every age, size, shape, and color, don't they. Did you read xstatic's comment above? I think it's the coolest thing that he stumbled across and older veteran and got such a response from saying thank you. Those that are stuck in nursing homes are already lonely and deserve the honor of being remembered. Thanks for reading this hub. I really appreciate your stopping by.

  • mpropp profile image

    Melissa Propp 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Very good hub and a great reminder to us all that 11/11 is Veteran's Day! Almost everyone has a family member or a close friend who has fought for this country, but it is a great reminder that there are many older vets in nursing homes that need to be appreciated and remembered as well. Thank you for sharing this hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh xstatic, that makes my heart swell. You gave this precious man an opportunity to relive his service to our country made him feel like he is still a valuable part of our country and its history. You have no idea how this makes me feel. A great big gigantic thank you and a hug for sharing the story with me. The tears are flowing. Man, this makes it all worth the time.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Partly because of this hub, when I encountered an elderly genteleman this morning wearing a WW II Vet cap and a USMC t-shirt, I said hello and thanked him for helping win that one. He enlisted at age 18 after high school and spent a year on Guam. He seemed to appreciate the recognition.

    Good prompt with this Hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear MizB, I thought of you as I wrote this. No one really knows, do they? Only those that have stood in the shoes of a veteran or their family can truly understand. A day in their honor is the very least we should do. When I was working in the public sector, I made it a practice to say thank you whenever I encountered a veteran and frequently would hand them a few bills and tell them to go buy themselves lunch. Most didn't know how to respond to such kindness and that always made me very sad. I think society forgets that wounds of combat are often invisible; that our soldiers don't need to leave a limb behind to be ravaged by war. A good friend of mine recently returned from a tour of duty and while having one of "those" dreams, jumped out of bed and fell, breaking his nose. He's not weak MizB. He's one of the toughest people I've ever known and still, came home wounded after only six months. We have to keep fighting for our veterans to get the care they need and deserve and until they do, it's up to us to honor and respect the job they have done. From me, to you and your husband, my most sincere and heartfelt thanks.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi xstatic! Thank you. I think most of us appreciate our veterans but sometimes don't know how to show it. So, I hope my little list will inspire and motivate someone who didn't know what they might do. I truly do appreciate those who serve and, their families, because they serve too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James-MizBejabbers 5 years ago

    Hear, hear, Linda, those of us who live with a veteran and the consequences of their service every day thank you!

    Nothing is adequate reward to the veterans who have actually served in combat. Nothing. Even with help, they suffer mentally or physically, or both, until the day they die, and we, their families, suffer with them. It makes me cry to think of it. They deserve their day!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Great patriotic hub and a gesture of gratitude to all who have worn a military uniform to uphold our great country. Good reminder list too.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH - You are a big hearted man! Toys for Tots is such a great program. You are so right about it being te simple things we take for granted. Thank you for your hard work!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rich - Thank you for understanding. I had many friends come home from Vietnam with those invisible wounds and it hurt my soul. I've had a few friends come home from Iraq carrying the ghosts in their backpack when they arrived. Some felt that they couldn't seek help for fear of what it would do to their career. It breaks my heart. The least I can do is recognize their service but I know it isn't enough. So, thank you Rich, for your service. Thank you for ALL that you have done so that I could sit here and do what I love in a country I love.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sunshine - thank you. Thank you for sharing my feelings about veterans. I really do feel that they should be recognized each and every day. I'm always somewhat amazed at the response I get when I discover a veteran in some part of my every day life and I say "thank you" to them. Most act like they've seen a ghost because they don't think anyone cares. It's an important subject to me. Thanks so much for being here.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you, thank you. thank you. Great ideas. Working with the Marines on the Toys for Tots, nothing was as meaningful as the "simple" things we take for granted.

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda - A fitting tribute to Veterans. Thank you! Years ago, when we left the military, it was almost like we had to apologize for serving our country. Nice to know that someone recognizes it wasn't all fun and games. Again, many thanks!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Well said Linda. We should honor veteran's each and every day. Your tribute will be appreciated by many.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Angela, I totally agree with you. Every day should be considered Veteran's Day. Thank you for sharing my feelings.

  • Angela Kane profile image

    Angela Kane 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    Voted up and beautiful. I think we need to always honor our veterans whether or not we agree or disagree with the war or conflict in which they are involved. They risk their lives everyday so we can live ours freely and they deserved to be honored every single day.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Ruchira! We should be doing it every day but I couldn't resist the opportunity to shine the spotlight on them for Veteran's Day. Thank you so much for your support and compliment.

  • Ruchira profile image

    Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

    Beautiful thoughts, Linda.

    Always a pleasure to honor people who fought for our freedom.

    voted up and shared across

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill Holland, you are such a funny guy. I am stunned by your trust in me and you have made me feel very special. You are darned right you are my buddy. We are friends forever and don't you ever think for one minute that I am not a better person for it.

    Thank you! I am headed to your profile now to retrieve a link. :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    shining - here you are again and always, always making me feel like I have done something worthy of living here on this planet. Thank you so very much.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Here is how much I trust you as a writer....I linked this to my Veteran's hub before I even read it. I can tell you with all certainty that I have never done that before.

    And then I read it, and my suspicions were upheld...I suspected you would do a marvelous job with this hub and you did. :)

    your buddy


  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Amen! You continue to build my endless respect I have for you as a human being. I commend you for providing such a patriotic and wonderful hub of remembrance. It is for so many others that we have the freedom to have places like Hub Pages.

    Fantastic and am voting up and sharing


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