The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marked the signing of the armistice to end what was then called, “The Great War”, and which would later became known as WW1, in 1918. One year later, President Wilson declared the day Armistice Day, and veterans of the war were remembered and honored.-They marched in hometown parades and were honored with speeches by local and national politicians. In 1938, Armistice Day was voted a national holiday, and then in 1971 the name was changed to Veterans Day, honoring veterans of all wars and those who have served in peacetime.
In every church I have served, I have been privileged to minister among men and
women who have served our country in our Armed Services. They taught me to not only appreciate, but also to cherish this day (and Memorial Day) as a way of honoring those who have served and are serving, and to honor their families for the sacrifices they make. Over the years, I have heard about, read, and participated in a variety of ways to observe this holy-day. I commend them to you and your family.
Pause for a moment at 11 am on November 11, Veterans Day (Monday this year) to consider those who have served and silently thank them for their willingness to serve, protect, and uphold our Constitutional freedoms.
Hug a vet
It may sound trite to some, but a genuine hug conveys a depth of appreciation and affection. And, for those of us fortunate enough to have a veteran at home or in your family, hug them tightly and thank them for their daily sacrifice and service to our country.
Support the businesses that support our military. Many restaurants and stores offer promotions on Veterans Day to military members and their families. Take your vet to lunch or, if you’re not military, simply show your support for our troops by patronizing one of the many participating vendors.
Reach out to veterans and their families in our church and community. Remember those who have shared in our struggles, our joys, and our sorrows. Call up a service member and/or spouse and let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers.
Honor those we’ve lost; those who were wounded
We’ve all been touched by the loss of a friend or loved one in the military. Take the time to honor especially these veterans of war who’ve fought for our country and who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice; as well as our “Wounded Warriors”. Donate or volunteer your time; for example learn more about Boulder Crest.
Explain to your children or family members that Veterans Day celebrates all members of the military, those currently serving and those who have served previously, those who have served in times of peace as well as war. This differs from Memorial Day, which is a day to commemorate specifically those who died while serving, especially those who died in combat.
Contact our closest Fisher House at Fort Belvoir, the non-profit “home away from home” that provides free lodging to families of military members during hospitalization at major military medical facilities. Get the kids involved and ask if the Fisher House could use any donated goods. Have your kids select a new toy or other new comfort items to donate. See if they could use some homemade goodies or tabletop decorations, or even fresh flowers to brighten
someone’s day. Show your children that they’re never too little to help others.
Visit one of our national cemeteries (Arlington, Quantico) and ask to place flags at the headstones; or join with helping the Rotary Clubs in their effort to do so.
Participate in community observance
Come out for our Leesburg community’s Veterans Day commemoration at The
Marshall House, 312 E Market Street, at 10:30 AM, Monday, November 11. Make this event a family tradition.
Remember all year
We are fortunate to have a day that provides a national platform through which to show our appreciation for our veterans. But a simple “thank you” at any time during the year is a great way to show appreciation for all our military members past and present for the service they provide every day.
Veterans Day is the opportunity to give recognition and honor to all who serve and have served. It is with great appreciation that I pray God’s blessing on all of our veterans and their families, not just today, but every day!