Today, we honor and say thanks to our country’s brave veterans who have given their service to defend our country. Veterans Day observances fall on this day because World War I (the "war to end all wars") ended in 1918, in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The following year, President Woodrow Wilson dedicated the first November 11 as Armistice Day, a day to recognize veterans, primarily those of World War I.
In 1938, the day officially became a legal holiday in the United States, and the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” to refer more broadly to the soldiers who’d fought in all of America’s wars, not just World War I.
Since then, Veterans Day has become a day to thank veterans for their service.
Here are three ideas to honor a family member, friend, or neighbor who is a veteran:
- Invite a veteran to lunch or dinner. Ask them about their time of service, and listen to their stories.
- Give the veterans you know a special gift or a card just to say thank you.
- If you can’t see them in person, simply give them a call to express your appreciation.
If you don’t know any veterans personally, here are six ways to say thanks to our country’s military members and veterans.
- Help support a military family with a donation through Operation Homefront.
- If you have a DIY talent for knitting or have nice winter gear you don’t use any more, send cold weather attire to veterans through Operation Gratitude.
- Still have Halloween candy lying around? Luckily, those wrapped chocolates and gummy candies have a long shelf life and you can pack them into a box and send off to the troops to enjoy.
- Send a thank you card or drawing to the troops through Operation Write Home.
- Thank a veteran in person. If you see anyone dressed in military attire participating in Veteran’s Day events in your city or town, take the time to stop and thank them.
- Participate in a parade. Go and show your support and appreciation through a homemade sign at one of the many parades occurring throughout the country.
Gift Ideas for the Veterans in Your Life: