As a nation, we thank our U.S. Armed Services veterans this week as we commemorate Veterans Day. Veterans Day, which is observed on November 11th each year, was originally celebrated as Armistice Day in 1919, as a way to honor those who served in World War I. In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks began a movement to include all those who served in the military, not just those from World War I. His suggestion caught gear, and by 1954, the day was designated by Congress to be known as Veterans Day.
- Observe the two minutes of silence. As part of the Veterans Day legislation, there are two minutes of silence to be observed beginning at 2:11 EST on November 11. Consider setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a moment to think about those who have served our country.
- Buy a homeless veteran a meal. 60,000 U.S. veterans are currently homeless and another 1.4 million are considered at significant risk for homeless. You can contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Resources for information on where you can donate toward feeding homeless veterans in your area.
- Fly your flag on Veterans Day. It’s a powerful and simple way for veterans in your community to see that you remember, acknowledge, and are grateful for their service.
- Say thank you. Think through who you know who has served in the military and reach out to them to say thank you. Your kindness means more than you know. Also, consider ‘interviewing’ those veterans in your life and listen carefully as they recount their service experiences. While many of us may express our thanks, there are stories these veterans carry as part of their service that need to be told. Your listening ear matters.
- Make it a family tradition. About 20% of U.S. employers observe Veterans Day by giving their employees the day off. However, most school systems and businesses do not close in observance of the holiday, so it takes intentionality to call attention to the purpose of the day. Talk about Veterans Day with your children, and discuss why it’s important to honor those who defend the country. Make your kids part of the ways you observe the day.
As you take some time this week to think on our servicemen and servicewomen, take a moment to reflect on the following quotes:
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.
And if you or a loved one has served our country, we here at Altrua HealthShare thank you from the bottom of our hearts.