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How Can We Thank Our Veterans?

by Emily Horn
How Can We Thank Our Veterans? Veterays Day November 11, 2022

My dad is a Veteran who served two tours in Iraq from 2002-2004. My grandfathers were Veterans as well. I have several friends who are either in the military or whose spouses are in the military. If you know of anyone who’s ever served, you understand – on some level – the sacrifices of serving. Of course, those of us who have not served will never fully fathom the depth and breadth of military service like a Veteran who experienced it themselves. Thinking about my own father’s sacrifices brings tears to my eyes even now. How do we even begin to honor our Veterans for their service and sacrifice? Here are a few ideas for ways you and your friends, family, students, and community can show up for Veterans on Friday, November 11, 2022.

Attend Local Events

What is scheduled in your community for Veteran’s Day? Is there a service or ceremony planned at the Capitol, or a parade? Will there be a 5K or fundraising event nearby? How are your city and community planning to celebrate and honor Veterans in the area? Make it a point to attend events and encourage students to attend also. If you can, schedule a field trip to attend an event or ceremony.

Veterans in uniform with American flags on a Veterans of Foreign Wars float in a Veterans Day Parade.

Interview Veterans

Ask students if they have a friend or family member who is a Veteran. Perhaps there are staff members in your school who are Veterans. Invite them to your classroom for a Q&A or to give a presentation. Or have students individually interview a Veteran to write an essay, make a video essay, or give a presentation about them. Brainstorm a list of questions with your students in advance to guide their interviews.

A Veteran speaking to a class of high school students.

Visit a Local VA Hospital or Nursing Home

Do you live near a VA Hospital or nursing home? Contact your local facility to see if there are any special events or services planned to honor Veterans. Ask how you can participate! If there’s nothing planned, students can write letters and deliver them to Veterans, hand deliver treats, or prepare songs or poems to perform. Making a visit just for students to talk to a Veteran about their service can be impactful. Also, look into any volunteer programs that may be available.

Participate in the Veteran’s Day Moment of Silence

Did you know that Public Law No: 114-240 passed in the 114th Congress on October 7, 2016 calls on the American people to “observe two minutes of silence on Veterans Day at 3:11pm Atlantic standard time”? You can participate with your students and encourage them to lift up thoughts of gratitude for Veterans and their service during this time.

Support a Charity

There are many ways your students can show support through charitable giving. For example, Soldiers’ Angels has several opportunities for people to give back through campaigns like Treats for Troops, Holiday Stockings for Heroes, and Holiday Adopt-a-Family. You can also raise funds through student-led initiatives like bake sales for charities such as Wounded Warrior Project and K9s for Warriors.

These are just a few small ways to thank Veterans and educate students. What will you do to honor Veterans this year? What have you done in the past? Please share ideas with us in the comments so that we can support, honor, and thank our Veterans this November.

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