It’s been 85 years since the origins of Veterans Day took root. At the time, Americans declared “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919 — recognizing the end of World War I. Several years later, it became a national holiday and in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to change the name to Veterans Day — setting it aside as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.
So, here we are. Another Veterans Day is upon us. What does it mean exactly? In the midst of parades, speeches, and ceremonies, it definitely gives us time to recognize the sacrifices military servicemembers have made on our behalf of our country.
It also is a reminder that we should take the time to honor our 19.6 million veterans year round. In an article for CNN, several veterans were asked what did it mean to honor them. They responded, “Go beyond the holiday.”
Here are 4 ways you can support veterans:
- Support veteran-owned businesses. Many businesses owned by veterans, from automotive shops to online shops, are noted as such. Search for ones that are certified as veteran-owned.
- Assist with job placements. It’s also important to join efforts to help veterans seek employment. According to statistics, about 77 percent of veterans have issues with finding jobs within a year after leaving the military.
- Help with veterans’ families. Spouses and children of veterans also face challenges, as they must cope with separation as well as support their loved ones who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other medical issues.
- Volunteer with organizations committed to helping veterans. Many times it takes a group effort to promote change. American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. The ALA has been instrumental in advocating for veterans’ rights for nearly 100 years. It also has many grassroots efforts to support military servicemembers, veterans and their families. You can register here. The ALA also has a list of resources to assist people who want to volunteer to help veterans. Take a look here.