Like all other events in 2020, Veteran’s Day will be different. Nonetheless, it is still vitally important that we recognize how much we respect and appreciate the service of our veterans.
Here are just a few ways you can celebrate a safe Veteran’s Day this year.
Partner with a Veteran Service Organization
Veteran service organizations support veterans and their families by providing practical and personal programs which may include suicide prevention, housing and employment assistance, distributing supplies, and more.
The way you support veterans during the pandemic may be different, but the need is always there. There are over 100 VA-recognized, national Veterans Service Organizations, but these are the longest standing and best-known. Contact one in your area to discover how you can help.
Deliver a Meal
Large group gatherings definitely aren’t a good choice at this time. However, there’s no reason you can’t order a meal for delivery to a veteran you know.
If you don’t have a delivery service, prepare a home-cooked meal, drop it on their doorstep with a card or call them immediately after. Isolation is a huge problem now, but this small gesture will remind them they’re not alone.
Share Their Story
If you know a veteran and they’ve shared stories of their military life with you, ask them if you can share a poignant moment with others. Don’t solicit information. They may not want to discuss it.
However, if they’re willing to share an appropriate story it can help people understand what it means to serve and what a person may deal with in the line of duty. Often, it is not what we expect.
Attend a Ceremony Virtually
The annual National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery will be covered virtually this year. The ceremony begins at 11 am with live streaming on the Veteran’s Affairs Facebook page. Show your respect to the men and women that have and continue to serve our nation in peace and war.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s Veterans Day Ceremony at The Wall is also being held virtually this year and starts at 1 pm. You can join this livestream on their Facebook page or website.
Connect With the NYC Vets Day Parade
Approximately 120 vehicles will travel down part of the parade route in New York this year and they will also have a Virtual Line of March. Check their Facebook and Twitter accounts for posts on participants every 45-60 seconds.
The organization has also created 11 Marching Orders. These interactive activities are meant to help veterans and supporters connect in a safe manner.
Make a Donation
Charitable organizations can’t run live fundraisers at the moment, so they’re in dire need of financial support. If you can afford to make a small contribution, choose an organization and help them out.
Possible groups include Disabled American Veterans, Homes for Our Troops, Wounded Warriors, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and the USO.
Fly Our Flag
Raising the stars and stripes above your home or workplace is a great way to show veterans you appreciate our country and their efforts. Of course, if you notice a veteran saluting, you can also say ‘Thank you!”