Veterans Day is an important holiday that deserves your time and appreciation. While scrolling through this article, you will quickly find that there are more ways than one to celebrate Veterans Day.
How to Celebrate Veterans Day
Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors veterans in the United States. While it originally started out as a day to honor veterans of World War I, it eventually expanded its scope to include all veterans. But, how do you honor veterans exactly? Here are some of the best Veterans Day activities you can do.
1. Observe a Moment of Silence
Veterans Day falls on November 11 because this date marked the end of World War I. To be exact, fighting ceased at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. For this reason, many Americans observe a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. in commemoration. Whether you’re at school, at work, or at home, observing a moment of silence is a great way to quietly show your appreciation for the service of veterans.
2. Display the American Flag
The American flag symbolizes freedom — something that veterans have fought and continue to fight for. As such, make it a part of your Veteran Day celebrations to fly Old Glory.
Offices can display the American flag in lobbies or other places. Schools can organize a flag-raising ceremony outside, provided the space and weather permits. Students and faculty can then recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem together.
When flying the American flag, make sure to do so in a manner consistent with the U.S. Flag Code.
3. Invite a Veteran to Speak
Celebrating Veterans Day is not limited to fun activities. This is a day to learn about the history of the U.S. military and gain a deeper understanding of the experiences veterans went through.
Whether it’s in an office or a school, consider inviting a veteran to speak and share their story. Through this, civilians can learn about military life and service, the challenges veterans face, the sacrifices they made, and the achievements they reached. The talk will certainly give listeners a more profound appreciation for veterans and military service members.
4. Incorporate It Into the Lesson Plan
Schools should do their part to educate kids and teenagers about Veterans Day. Thus, you may want to include it in your lesson plan. Apart from inviting a veteran to speak in class, teachers can give out writing assignments and encourage group discussions.
This is also an opportunity for kids to learn about the various memorials within the area. If possible, you might consider scheduling a field trip to one of those memorials.
5. Put Together a Musical Program
There is more than one way to celebrate Veterans Day. Putting together a musical program is a great way to educate kids while allowing them to participate in something performative. Schools can organize their own musical programs or partner with a local organization. Kids can take part in the event and showcase their talents.
6. Hold a Poster Contest
Organizing a poster contest is another way kids can channel their creative side — this time in the visual sense. Open the contest to all the students in the school, making sure to group them according to their grade level. Then, make sure to recognize and award the winners. Even a simple certificate can be enough to give students a sense of accomplishment.
7. Highlight Them in the Newsletter
If your company distributes an internal newsletter, sends out a daily email blast, or posts announcements on a bulletin, take this chance to recognize the veterans in your office. With their permission, you can share their stories and experiences. Allow them to talk about the transition from military life to civilian life and how it impacted them. Just remember to keep everything respectful.
8. Host a Company-Wide Dinner or Party
Veterans Day is the perfect time to throw a dinner or party in honor of the veterans in your company. Instead of keeping it exclusive, extend the invitation to all of your employees. This way, civilian employees can learn from veterans and socialize with them. Dinner events are also a good way to build camaraderie and team spirit.
9. Organize a Volunteer Program
If you can manage it, consider organizing a volunteer program in your school or office. Through this, employees or students can sign up to volunteer together at local nonprofits, charities, or veterans service organizations (VSOs). These VSOs play an important role in helping veterans, focusing on issues such as career transition, temporary housing, suicide prevention, and PTSD.
Volunteering will help open their eyes to the struggles and sacrifices of veterans. It will help them understand the significance of Veterans Day and encourage them to participate in more activities in the future. Raising awareness is where it starts.
10. Share Ways to Donate
Another way to give back to the veteran community is to donate. Share all the ways employees can donate money. There are a lot of nonprofits and charitable organizations that can benefit from this.
If they can’t donate money, let them know that they can donate care packages, too. These care packages go straight to military service members on deployment. You can even set a day aside to assemble the care packages together. This not only benefits military members but also helps build teamwork.
11. Spend Time With Them
If you have family members who are veterans, the simplest way to show you care is to spend quality time with them. Since it’s a three-day weekend, consider planning a short getaway. Outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking are also popular options.
You don’t have to go too far, though. There are always local Veterans Day events you can attend together. Apart from that, you can visit a museum or library, or even just have a nice family dinner. They will surely appreciate the time you spend with them.
The Bottom Line
Schools, offices, and families should make an effort to celebrate Veterans Day. This is a day specifically set aside to honor veterans, their service, and their sacrifice. Although you don’t have to do everything on this list, starting with just one can already go a long way.
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