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Honoring vets throughout the year

By Staff Editorial
On November 20, 2015

Each year, the U.S. honors military personnel with events and activities across the country on Veterans Day but there are many ways to honor veterans throughout the year.  

According to History.com, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied Nations and Germany in the First World War. 

Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, Nov. 11 became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. Following the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars (history.com).

Students may wonder how they can thank a person who has fought for their freedom. Because people may not know what to say or do to thank our nation’s veterans, it results in many veterans never receiving appreciation for their sacrifices. 

Upon returning home from active military duty, veterans face many issues, including substance abuse, homelessness and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to wehonorveterans.org, on any given night there are 57,000 veterans without shelter and who lack basic healthcare. 

Communicating and honoring veterans properly when they come home can be the key to a safer, smoother transition for them, according to wehonorveterans.org. 

Additionally, the American Legion website offers a variety of suggestions to honor veterans such as attending a community-wide welcome home event or donating blood through the Red Cross for use by military service members. 

One way students can honor veterans is by simply striking up a conversation and saying “thank you.” According to wehonorveterans.org, every veteran has a different story and a lot of them might not want to talk in detail about what they have been through while in the service. 

Being ready and able to listen to a veteran if and when they want to talk is important. Be sincere, caring and compassionate, as this could be their one way of processing and handling their transition back to civilian life.

Respecting, validating and listening to veterans is the most important thing you can do to appreciate and thank them for their service, according to wehonorveterans.org. A simple “thank you” can really make the day brighter and easier for veterans. 

Although honoring veterans on Veterans Day is important, we should keep in mind the sacrifices they have made for our freedom every day of the year. 

The next time you meet a veteran or see a military service member in uniform, take the initiative to say “thank you” and show appreciation for the freedom of this country. 

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