VA North Texas Health Care System
How do you celebrate Veterans Day?
Since November 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of ending World War I, Americans have celebrated Veterans Day. Known in the early years as Armistice Day, it was eventually designated a federal holiday and is celebrated with parades and special ceremonies across the Nation to thank military men and women for their service.
American patriotism has rekindled since 9-11, and an awareness to recognize and honor Veterans for answering the call is alive and well. With the younger generation interested how they could honor those who served, it became a popular homework assignment for many students to interview a Veteran. Some didn’t know who they were looking for…
But it became a great opportunity to speak to their fathers, grandfathers or other family members and learn for the first time where they served and hear their stories. Some learned they had an aunt who was an Army nurse in Vietnam. Others asked, ‘Were you in the war?’ And as the stories began to flow from a grandfather helping his grandson with a school assignment, that was the first time he had spoken of his military service so many years ago.
Starting the conversation may be awkward, so here’s one way to break the ice. “Thank you for your service” or “Welcome home” is a great way to acknowledge their service and sacrifice. Gathering family and friends to attend Veterans Day events in your community is an effective teaching tool and keeps the tradition alive. It’s never out of style to celebrate those who served to preserve and defend America’s freedom and should never be taken for granted.
It may sound old fashioned, but it’s true – freedom isn’t free! In fact, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation Nov. 1, establishing November as Veterans and Military Families Month to more fully celebrate and recognize their contributions to the nation.
So, this Veterans Day ~ and every day, thank a Veteran for the freedoms you enjoy. Let them know their service has not been forgotten.