When I was in school, I was always miffed that we didn’t get off work for Veteran’s Day. It wasn’t a good reason, however; rather than being indignant that we didn’t honor our vets, I was disappointed about not being able to have my birthday off.
These days, now that I’m older, Veteran’s Day is much more meaningful for me. I had at least two relatives die in World War II, have had uncles and even my father serve in the armed forces, and currently have several cousins serving as well as some friends. In short, the holiday’s very reason to be is much more understandable—and much more serious.
Veteran’s Day celebrations don’t have to be somber, of course. I know many people would like to be honored with a celebration of life rather than a mourning of death or sacrifice. So here are ten family-friendly ways to celebrate Veteran’s Day this year.
10. Talk About What the Holiday Really Means
Discussing the history of Veteran’s Day is essential in understanding what it means. This will help children especially understand why they have the day off school (or why there is no mail, etc.).
9. Participate in a Flag Ceremony
Take your family to the nearest veteran’s center or city hall and participate in the ceremony.
8. Learn Some Patriotic Songs
Some favorites include “God Bless the USA,” “My Country Tis of Thee,” and “America the Beautiful.”
7. Honor the Vets You Know
Visit gravestones. Ask surviving vets about their experiences. Tell them thank-you for their service. Bake them something to eat or give another heartfelt gift.
6. Honor the Vets You Don’t Know
Pray, send energy to, or otherwise hold in your heart the men and women in service.
5. Observe a Moment of Silence
Do this as a family. Explain why you are doing so, and about how grateful you are for those who sacrificed for our country.
4. Do Some Veteran’s Day Activities
Search online for some printable crafts and other activities, such as these.
3. Serve Your Country
Even if you don’t want to serve in the military, you can still be of service through your choice of volunteer activity.
2. Visit a National Monument
Travel to the nearest memorial or monument near you and learn all about it.
1. Send a Card or Care Package