November 11th is an important day to remember each year for U.S. citizens. Since 1919 under the order of President Woodrow Wilson, this has been a day to celebrate and honor veterans who have served our country.
From 1919 to 1954, it was actually known as Armistice Day to mark the end of the first World War. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation switching the day from “armistice” to “veterans” and issued the first Veterans Day proclamation.
On November 11th of each year, there is a special Veterans Day ceremony at 11:00am at Arlington National Cemetery. It is meant to thank and honor those who have served our country with a wreath placed at the Tomb of the Unknowns and celebrations at the Memorial Amphitheater.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day often get confused, but here is the distinction in their meanings: Veterans Day is for all who have served in the military at any point in time, while Memorial Day honors the fallen soldiers we have lost.
If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate Veterans Day, consider serving your community in honor of a veteran you know. Look for a local food bank to volunteer with or a nonprofit that gives back to the community. Serving those around you shows your appreciation for your country in a small way while honoring the veterans who have fought for our freedom to have such community.
Another way to honor veterans is by sponsoring a military family for the holidays. There may be a family member who is deployed, or a veteran on limited income that is trying to provide a good holiday season for their spouse and/or children. There is an Adopt-a-Family program to get connected to families in need and help shop for holiday gifts as well as send gift cards for meals or other needs.
It is extremely important to keep service members in the forefront of our minds and be continuously grateful for the sacrifices they have made to serve our country. Even if you spend a few minutes talking with a veteran around you to hear their stories and learn more about what they went through, it’s easy to celebrate and honor them.