4 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day This Year

Here's how to honor local service members this year.

This year, recognize Veterans Day by learning more about the holiday's history. Of course, you already know it's a holiday that honors United States veterans from the name alone—but there's a bit more to it.

Veterans Day is a federal holiday established after World War I to honor past and current military members. It's observed each year on November 11, the anniversary of WWI's final day. It replaced the holiday that had been known as Armistice Day.

Traditionally, Veterans Day is observed with local parades, celebrations, and other gatherings, but there are plenty of ways to honor veterans, wherever you are.

Small United States flags in the grass
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What Is the Difference Between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

Veterans Day is sometimes mixed up with Memorial Day, an American holiday observed in May. While Veterans Day is a celebration of all serving or who have served in the military, Memorial Day honors troops who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

How to Celebrate Veterans Day

There are plenty of ways to observe the holiday with your family.

Fly the Flag

One of the easiest ways to show your support for veterans is to hang up your American flag—just be sure you're displaying it correctly. You can also organize a group of community members to place miniature American flags at cemeteries, war memorials, parks, and other public spaces.

Write a Letter Thanking a Veteran

Express your gratitude to local veterans this year by writing thank you cards. Contact your local VA and find out where to send the letters. They may be able to give you specific names so you can address the card directly, or you can write several more generic notes for the VA staff to hand out.

Donate to an Organization That Supports Veterans

If you're able to give, a monetary donation can do a lot to help veterans all over the country. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is currently accepting donations to VA Medical Centers, or you can choose to support several other organizations that benefit veterans: The Wounded Warrior Project provides services and medical help to those in need of physical or mental medical assistance, while Homes for Our Troops builds and donates custom houses to severely injured veterans.

Call the Veterans You Know

If you know a veteran or a military member, consider calling them to express your gratitude.

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