Veterans Day is an important holiday in our country, and for good reason. This day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of U.S. veterans. It’s an important “thank you” as we show appreciation to members of our military, past and present. Many of us have a close relationship with a veteran, whether that be a family member or a close friend.
While people recognize the importance of honoring our veterans, many do not know the history behind Veterans Day and why we commemorate our veterans on November 11. It’s important we all know the history behind Veterans Day so that we can uplift our veterans accordingly! So what are some ways we can honor our veterans? First, the basics.
The History of Veterans Day
Did you know that Veterans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day? Armistice Day was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday in honor of ending World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, the November 11th holiday was dedicated to “the cause of world peace and to be a hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’” Essentially, this new holiday only honored World War I veterans.
Flash forward to 1954, after having been through not only one World War but two, along with the Korean War. The 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With legislation’s approval in June of 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans of war. Ever since, Veterans Day has been observed every year on November 11.
How to Say Thank You to Our Veterans
Veterans Day is an important day to thank our veterans for stepping up to protect our country. It’s because of them that Americans can sleep peacefully at night knowing the threat of other hostile nations is taken care of by our veterans. If you are looking for an appropriate way to honor a veteran in your life or would like to contribute in a meaningful way, below is a list of suggestions.
Donate to a veteran-focused charity
There are plenty of wonderful organizations that offer all manners of support, services, and appreciation to our service members. From care packages to meal prep, there are some really amazing charities out there that are beneficial to military veterans and their families. Do some research and see what kind of organization you want to donate to for a meaningful impact.
Participate in acts of service
If you don’t have the funds to donate to a charity, that's okay! Acts of service are a great way to show your thanks to our veterans. This could mean buying a meal for someone in service, lending a helping hand, or volunteering at a VA hospital or veterans shelter. Acts of service are just as meaningful.
Ask someone about their service
One of the best ways to show appreciation is by showing you care enough to ask them about themselves. Ask them how long they served, what they did for the military, or what their favorite moment was. Be supportive without being intrusive. Sometimes listening is the best way to be there for someone. Additionally, knowing more about what they did can help you properly say thank you.
Thank you to all veterans out there! Thank you for your bravery, your sacrifice, and strength. We will always be indebted to you and your family for all you gave for the safety of this country.
Source: Ho Lin (2021) Veterans Day History
Source: Ho Lin (2021) 8 Ways to Say “Thank You Veterans” on Veterans Day