Today is Veterans Day, a time to honor and thank those who have heroically served our country. On this special holiday, most Americans take time to pause and be thankful for the sacrifices of our veterans, but many aren’t sure how to show their appreciation. While there is no wrong way, I’ve come up with a list to make it easy for you to show your gratitude not just today, but any day. Just pick one or some of these ideas and express your appreciation!
- Attend the local Manassas Veterans Day parade. You can show up in person to thank local veterans at this event held on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 11 am in historic Manassas. The Manassas Veterans Day Parade pays tribute to all veterans and active military for protecting our nation at home and overseas. It is the largest Veterans Day Parade in Northern Virginia and includes military and high school bands, pipe and drum corps teams, military units and vehicles and members from local veteran organizations.
- Connect with the Serve Our Willing Warriors. There are many ways you can support this Haymarket, VA retreat center for veterans, which is doing amazing work locally. Visit their website to see what they offer.
- Treat a veteran to a meal. If you have family or friends who are veterans, invite them over or take them out for a celebration.
- Donate money to a veterans’ organization. There are many charities that help veterans. If you need ideas, check out the USO or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
- Volunteer at a local retirement home. Call around to a few retirement communities and ask what they are doing to celebrate Veterans Day. Many will hold ceremonies or socials to honor their resident veterans, and they can use help serving food, transporting the residents to the events or running the ceremonies.
- Place flowers on graves. Local organizations often organize volunteers to place wreaths or flowers on the gravesites of veterans and could use your help!
- Volunteer at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Call your local VA home or hospital to inquire about volunteer opportunities. You could deliver balloons, flowers, flag pins or other trinkets or simply deliver the mail with a “thank you!” and brighten the days of many veterans, all in one spot.
- Teach your children. You’ll be doing a service to your children and our veterans if you take time to talk about the importance of this holiday and our veterans’ service. Let the kiddos know how much you value our veterans’ commitment to our great nation!
- Get involved with The Mission Continues. This organization encourages veterans to keep serving and succeeding. For those readjusting to life at home, this organization connects them to their community to positively impact their lives.
- Write a letter of thanks. Join the movement to send notes of thanks to our veterans. Visit Operation Gratitude to participate. If you have a veteran in your family, you can send their information to Operation Gratitude so they receive letters of thanks, as well.
I am deeply grateful for all the veterans I know — and those I don’t. Our freedom is immeasurable and these men and women bravely defended our democracy. THANK YOU today and every day for your sacrifice and service. Happy Veterans Day!