On Veterans Day, make a veteran's day

The countdown to Veterans Day (November 11, 2017) — 6 of 6

In week six of our countdown to Veterans Day, we wrap up the Veterans Day conversation with a tip of the hat to the local ceremonies that honor veterans individually. It is our sincere hope that our series has enhanced your Veterans Day, and that you will join us in sharing the history and importance of honoring our veterans (Honor and Remember Flag).

Watch Parties

Chief among the local traditions are watch parties to the national ceremony that is held each year at Arlington National Cemetery. Some schools and local institutions go so far as to hold their own similarly organized ceremonies. In fact, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has published a PDF guide to hosting such a ceremony.

Community support

A second common tradition for Veterans Day is that communities will bind together to honor their own veterans in a variety of ways. Parades are extremely popular, as they give members of the community the opportunity to march for, and alongside, the veterans that live day by day in the same neighborhoods, towns and cities. Restaurants and gift shops often offer free meals or small gifts to veterans who visit their establishments. Some communities, when the opportunity arises, go so far as to have parks, buildings or monuments dedicated on Veterans Day, for the express purpose of honoring the local veterans.

One to one

A third tier of common Veterans Day traditional ceremonies are on a very personal scale. They include the show and tell invitations that many veterans receive from their own children, or on behalf of local children from local school staff members. Additionally, many veterans are guests of honor at concerts and historical plays performed by all ages of school and community theater programs. Lastly, a great many veterans, many currently hospitalized or otherwise recovering from the scars of war, receive gifts and personal notes of well wishes and thanksgiving from members of their family, friends and supportive community.

In all of these scenarios, the chief aim is to give a symbol of thankfulness back to the members of our American Armed Forces. Whether the veteran we would like to honor is, or was, a service member of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy, our acknowledgment is best delivered through our actions. The best thing anyone can do on Veterans Day is, quite simply, make a veteran's day. John F. Kennedy sums this sentiment up well:

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

— John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Veterans Day, celebrated each year on November 11, is one of those holidays that receives very little preemptive consideration in comparison to other nationally observed holidays. If you missed the previous posts in this series, read

  1. Remembering the day of remembrance
  2. Honor for one becomes honor for all
  3. An American celebration of peace
  4. What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
  5. American leadership then and now

Know a veteran?

Show your support with the gift of one of the military flags!

Many people honor veterans on or near Veterans Day in many different ways. Celebrations and ceremonies range from school plays to outdoor parades to somber graveside observances. It is common to see children proudly waving personal American flags, to see military flags waving in parades, or for friends and loved ones to place ceremonial markers at appropriate grave-sites.

Photo call!

Send us your pictures of Veterans Day observations, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.