Almost 100 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson announced that November 11th would be known as Armistice Day—which we would later come to know as Veterans Day. This national holiday has since served as a symbol of peace, as well as a celebration of all the soldiers who have fought for their country.
In honor of the holiday, here are six ways you can celebrate or say “thank you” to a veteran:
Attend a Veterans Day event
Even if you’re not a veteran yourself, you can still take part in shows, parades and other events that honor veterans in your community. By doing so you’re demonstrating gratitude and appreciate for all those who have served our country over the years. Check with your local government, church, or other organization to see how you can participate.
Share the message of Veterans Day with your kids
A large part of Veterans Day is honoring and acknowledging those who have fought for our country—and that often includes educating others, the new generation especially, about soldiers and their experiences in war. While your message may change depending on who you’re talking to and how old they are, the same basic truth will be the same—that veterans have sacrificed so much for their country so that we at home can live freely and in peace.
Some kid appropriate activities include speaking with relatives who are veterans, or creating cards and letters to share with veterans across the country.
Learn more about veterans
If you’re not a veteran, taking time this Veterans Day to learn more about our country’s soldiers and their experiences can be an enriching, eye opening experience. Read a book, watch a documentary, or visit a museum—no matter how you do it, you will be better able to appreciate and grasp all that veterans have done for our country.
Support veterans in your community or around the world
For someone who wants to show their gratitude in a tangible way, there are numerous charities and service organizations to choose from. Donate time or money to somewhere like the Wounded Warriors Project, a program that aims to “honor and empower Wounded Warriors” by offering donation and volunteer opportunities.
Visit a veteran
Chances are that you know a veteran yourself. Whether it’s a friend or family member, consider paying them a visit this Veterans Day to show your appreciation. You may talk in depth about their experiences or not at all—the important thing is to show that you care.
Show your gratitude
One of the simplest ways to honor veterans this Veterans Day is to simply thank them. Whether you meet a veteran at a restaurant, Veterans Day function, or at other venue, offer a “thank you” or another kind message that shows your gratitude.
Those who have fought for our country may not be the most visible or vocal group of people. This Veterans Day, show them that you care and are thankful for their sacrifice.