We’ve answered the question Why We Celebrate Veterans Day for each of our kids over the years.
My father is a veteran. My father in law is a veteran. So were grandfathers on both sides of our family. We also live in a military community full of families that watch parents deploy again and again.
It has always been very important to us to teach our kids about the sacrifice and service that is has taken over the years to keep our country safe and free.
Why Do We Celebrate Veterans Day?
Growing up, honoring veterans on Veterans Day was a given in our family. My parents made sure we understood why we celebrate Veterans Day.
Even when we didn’t like the politics, we respected our military and my parents were sure to teach us about the sacrifices that had been made to make our country better.
Society has changed a lot since I was a girl, but my support for our country’s veterans hasn’t. That’s why it’s so important to me that my girls learn to celebrate the good and honor the sacrifices that our veterans have made for us on Veteran’s Day. Since schools are closed here on Veteran’s Day (November 11th), here are some of the activities we have planned.
Veterans’ Day Parade
Our small town has a Veterans’ Day parade either on November 11 or on one of the weekends surrounding it. We make sure to attend with our American flags and proudly cheer on the floats of veterans, the bands, and more. It’s a great way to bring home the fact that it’s not just a day to honor arbitrary people but to honor our friends and neighbors who so selflessly served our country.
But we do make sure to emphasize that it is more than a party. It is a celebration with a deep and meaningful purpose. We approach Veterans Day with grace and gratitude. Sometimes small details like teaching them to cover their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem create opportunities to teach our kids about what has been done on their behalf.
Send a Care Package
Every year we put together a care package of treats and toiletries for our men and women who are currently serving. We’ve gone through local organizations that send the care packages out, but there are national organizations that need help too. Charities like Adopt-a-Platoon can even pair you with a platoon or a soldier to support throughout the year. We like Adopt-a-Platoon, because they screen everyone who wants to support and donate to our troops for their safety.
We hope that our wounded soldiers know how much we care about them and think about their sacrifices. So, a few times a year, but always on Veterans’ Day, we send cards, letters, and pictures to the medical centers. We hope it brightens their day!
Donate to a Charity
There are a lot of charities that support veterans and they all need donations. Typically, in the weeks leading up to Veterans Day, we’ll brainstorm ideas for a fundraiser that we can do to support one of them. One year we made Christmas ornaments to sell at a local Holiday Craft Show and another year we raked leaves for our neighbors in order to earn money to donate. There are a ton of different charities that need your support too, so do some research and see which ones you feel most moved to donate to.
While all of the activities that we do are great, the best thing that we can do with our kids on Veterans Day is to teach them about the ways our military has protected the country and about those men and women who have given so much to keep us safe. Instilling respect for our veterans and active military members starts with discussions with our girls. While there’s a lot that they’re too young to understand, there are plenty of examples of our veterans’ bravery that we can share.
I hope my girls never forget why we celebrate Veterans Day and the sacrifices that are made every day for their security and futures — and I hope Veterans Day always stays an important part of their lives.