Our nation comes together on November 11 to remember the men and women who have served or are actively serving our country. My father Theodore L. Schweitzer served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years, retiring from Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A. My brothers, uncles, sister-in-law, and nephews served too and I am proud!
Our readers frequently ask us to explain who is being honored on Veterans Day. It’s important to know that Veterans Day was originally “Armistice Day,” commemorating the one-year anniversary of the World War I armistice between the Allies and Germany. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for its annual remembrance. In 1938, it became a national holiday under President Roosevelt. In 1954, the holiday became Veterans Day to honor not only World War I heroes, but all brave women and men who currently and previously risked their lives daily to protect our freedoms.
Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11, regardless of the day of the week. This preserves the historical significance and emphasizes the patriotism displayed by veterans. In preparation for this public holiday, let’s show support and gratitude by demonstrating appreciation. Here are 10 ways to celebrate Veterans Day.
- Create a Soldier Care Package: Gather family and friends to enjoy assembling a care package to send to Any Soldier or Military Missions. Research the package limitations. Read Operation Gratitude care package wish-list for items to be sent to deployed troops and make a donation.
- Support Veteran Business Owners: Locate local restaurants and shops run or owned by military veterans. Frequent these businesses to dine or browse to support veterans in your community
- Treat a Veteran to Lunch: Invite a vet to a meal at a locally veteran-owned restaurant, or one of 93 restaurants offering free meals to veterans on November 11-12, 2018.
- Decorate with Red Poppies and Yellow Ribbons: Pin a yellow ribbon or a red poppy to your clothing in remembrance of our veterans. Read more about the history of these symbols, and sport your ribbon or poppy with national pride.
- Put Your Seamstress Skills to Work Can you knit, crochet, or sew? Warmth for Warriors and Knit Your Bit provides knitted scarves, hats, and socks to active duty soldiers.
- Say “Thank You”: Saying “thank you” is the most important tip and can be observed year-round. When you see someone in military uniform, express your gratitude with a firm handshake, sincere smile and thank them for their service to protect our freedom.
- Visit a National Cemetery: If you live close by to a national cemetery, ask the staff if you can take a moment to lay flowers or a flag on a veteran’s grave in honor of their sacrifice. If you’re wondering what flowers are appropriate, read this list of suitable arrangements.
- Fly the U.S. flag: From sunrise to sunset, display your American flag proudly in support of our veterans. Read more about how to properly fly the stars and stripes with respect and patriotism.
- Hold an Office Commemoration: Bring your coworkers together for a morning coffee and take the opportunity to recognize any active duty military or veteran colleagues. Bring yellow ribbon cake or cookies to brighten the office space and commemorate their service.
- Call a Veteran: If you have family or friends who have served in the military, be sure to call them and thank them for all they have done for our country.
Sharon Schweitzer wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.