Thanking Those Who Served

American flags honoring military members on Veterans Day.
Photo by Ludovic Gauthier on Unsplash

As Veterans Day approaches, my heart fills with thankfulness for those who took one of the most honorable commitments to serve this nation. Since 9-11, many of us value our freedom even more. We appreciate those who served and are now serving our country. So many fathers and mothers were separated from their families days to years at a time. They put their families on the line for us and our freedom. 

I’ve often heard veterans say, “Please don’t say thank you for your service.” I’ve asked Vietnam veterans why they felt that way, and they responded, “So many of us were hated and even suffered violence because we served.” So now I am mindful of that perspective. Now I say, “Thank you for doing something I could not do.” 

On the this momentous day, I enjoy seeing flags in the yard, and I admire so many of the veterans wearing their accessories. Throughout the city there will parades and ceremonies to honor the veterans. 

I am thankful there is a day set aside to show gratitude to veterans for their brave sacrifice. Senior war heroes enjoy the free meals with a few buddies. Many restaurants give out free food with a military ID, and many stores provide a discount at the time of purchase, with a military ID. That is the least we could do, for such a great sacrifice. 

I am sure you are wondering how you can truly say thank you to a veteran for serving this country. Here are a few tips on how you and your children can say thank you.

  1. Participate in events. If you can, participate in ceremonies in your nearby area. Take your kids to honor the men and women who have answered the call. 

2. Make a handmade card. Let this be a family effort. Grab markers and colored pencils to write a thank you note to a veteran. Choose a family member or friend of the family to honor. Allow the kids to a participate, and take this time to explain the meaning of the day. 

3. Wave your flag. If you happen to have an American flag, hang it on the door or in the yard. When a veteran drives by, it will be a small token of thankfulness. 

4. Talk to a veteran. Take a moment to talk to a veteran that you may know, and ask about their heroic times in the military. Oftentimes he or she will be glad to share stories. 

Veterans Day is a day of reflection and honor for the men and women who served. I will be thinking about my cousin and one of my friends who retired from the Air Force. I appreciate what they have done. I know all the time served was not glamorous, and some days they really missed their families until it hurt. Take time in your own special way to thank veterans, and involve your children to teach them about sacrifice, gratitude, and selflessness. 


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