Commemorate Veterans Day

Published 10:41 pm Friday, November 8, 2019

This week, we will celebrate Veterans Day, a special day set aside to recognize all of those who have served in the U.S. military for any length of time at any period of time.

Not to be confused with Memorial Day — which honors those who died during their service to our country — or Armed Forces Day, which honors those who are still serving, Veterans Day is for all those, living or dead, who served their country honorably during war or peace.

Veterans Day occurs on Nov. 11 every year, as it originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of the World War I. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day.

Email newsletter signup

Veterans make so many sacrifices as a result of their service, and we should take time to thank and honor them throughout the year, but especially on Monday. You can read about some of the sacrifices they make on this page in the excellent column by our page designer, a 10-year U.S. Navy veteran.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Veterans Day that doesn’t just involve enjoying the day off work, some of the following ideas, culled from several places on the internet, might just get you motivated.

  • Commit to adopting a military family for the holidays. You might help with the Thanksgiving meal or Christmas gifts for the children.
  • Donate to a reputable veterans’ charity or service organization, like the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion or VFW.
  • Visit a veterans’ memorial or cemetery. The Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, which Suffolk is extraordinarily privileged to have in our city, is an obvious choice. However, there are veterans in just about every cemetery, almost always marked with special headstones indicating their branch of service. You can silently pay your respects or show your support to the other veterans and family members who may also be visiting.
  • Visit a local nursing home or VA hospital and volunteer or drop off small gestures for veterans or staff.
  • Encourage your company to hire veterans or make a corporate commitment to help veterans’ organizations. Encourage your child’s teacher to come up with a Veterans Day lesson plan or invite veterans in to speak.
  • If you personally know a military family or a veteran, perhaps one of the most meaningful and personal ways you could help would be whatever they need. If the veteran lives alone and does not have family in the area, consider helping them cut the grass or take them grocery shopping.
  • Ask, “How can my talents help a veteran?” and then do whatever the answer is.