A simple-yet-meaningful way you can honor the service and sacrifice of our troops is simply to express your sincere thanks and appreciation to the many military veterans still living, as well as anyone actively serving in the Armed Forces. Thus, whether he or she is a family member, a friend or someone you encounter during a parade, a funeral or memorial service, in an airport or store, etc., please make a point of politely saying, “Thank you for your service!”
Attend a Gathering
Every November 11, businesses and organizations, communities and cemeteries, and many others across the United States hold events honoring our troops, past and present, that you can attend. For example, many of the 131 national cemeteries operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hold ceremonies to honor veterans – often at 11 a.m. local time. (See “A Brief History of Veterans Day” above to understand why.) You should check with your nearest national VA cemetery to see if it is holding such an event.
Help Others Gather
Roughly 16 million American men and women served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, and more than 400,000 of them paid the ultimate price during this global fight against tyranny.
Unfortunately, it took more than 60 years to create a national memorial honoring their service, by which time many of the surviving veterans would likely never visit it due to health and/or financial reasons.
Retired Air Force Captain Earl Morse, a licensed pilot who worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ohio, did something about this by creating “Honor Flight.” This non-profit organization flies WWII vets to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, at absolutely no cost to the veterans. Through the end of 2012, Honor Flight has transported nearly 99,000 World War II veterans to the memorial. If you wish to honor a deceased veteran, consider making a financial contribution to Honor Flight, or even organizing a trip for military veterans in your area.