5 ways to honor veterans this Veterans Day

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Once called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was originally slated to celebrate the end of WWI in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. As time went on, the name of the day was officially changed to Veterans Day so as to honor veterans from all wars, and eventually, even those who served in our militaries during peacetime. On days like November 11th, it is important to not just honor our veterans, but to remember their sacrifices not just during active duty, but in the aftermath as well. 

According to Military Benefits, “Throughout our history, military service members have put on their uniforms to protect the values and liberties that this nation was built on. But that doesn’t stop once the uniform comes off and their time in active duty has ended. Veterans take the lessons they have learned and the experiences they’ve gained and continue their service to our nation by strengthening our communities.” 

There is no time better than today to show appreciation for members of our military, past and present, and to thank them for the sacrifices they have made for our country.

The Pacer felt it necessary in these uncertain times to help find ways for the Rolling Meadows Community to show our gratitude and respect to our dedicated veterans. Below is a list of five appropriate ways to honor the veterans in your life as well as ways to contribute to the celebration in a way that is meaningful for veterans everywhere. 

Donate

Countless organizations across the United States offer support services and appreciation for veterans and current service members. The American Legion in Arlington Heights is among many organizations that are for veterans by veterans. Donating to veterans helps them in several challenging areas of life they face when they return from service, such as employment and wellness. Another well-known way to donate is through the Wounded Warrior Project, which can be accessed here: Wounded Warrior Project

Fly a flag 

A flag is a way to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service to his or her country. It is especially important that you fly it using proper etiquette. Check out this website for do’s and don’ts: Dos and Don’ts of Flag Flying

Ask questions and spread veterans’ stories 

Many people know someone who has served or has heard stories from someone else about a grandparent who has, for example. Veteran’s Day is a great day to respectfully ask them about their service. You can ask questions like the following: Why did you choose the service branch you did? How long did you serve? What was your favorite moment in your time in service? You should be supportive without being intrusive, which means that sometimes all you need to do is just listen and give them your attention instead of picking at vulnerable memories. Perhaps someone in your family has a great story they would like to share of a friend who was in the service as well. You can use Veteran’s Day as a way to learn about all of the things veterans have experienced and sacrificed to help our country. 

RMHS Social Studies teacher, Katharine Batman’s grandfather, Kenneth Batman, was a veteran. He completed his training at the Great Lakes Naval Station in North Chicago and went on to work on a gas carrier in the Pacific during World War ll as a member of the Navy. After being released from service, he spent the majority of his adulthood working as a high school Social Studies teacher and a basketball coach, which is exactly what Batman is pursuing in her career right now. 

“Although he passed away when I was 10 years old,” Batman said. “I do feel a special connection to him since I followed in his footsteps.” 

Veterans’ stories give voice to their unique life experiences. A lot of times they have moving stories to tell that maybe give you new perspective and show you just how strong they are as people. 

Write to a veteran 

If you know a veteran, a homemade card or postcard that recognizes and thanks him/her for all he/she has done is a perfect activity for Veteran’s Day. If you don’t know a veteran, oftentimes community organizations or schools will help you reach out to veteran organizations nearby. 

“In elementary school, my teacher would have us pick a veteran to write a thank you to,” senior Amanda Marcucci said. “We would decorate the card and write a little message to them.” 

Acknowledging the commitment and service of a veteran will be treasured, even if it’s anonymous. The Pacer is willing to accept any and all letters from the RMHS community to send to veterans. Additionally, A Million Thanks will also send letters, grant wishes, and fund scholars. 

Remember all year long 

Veteran’s Day is a great way to provide a national platform to show appreciation for all our veterans and their service to our country. However, that doesn’t mean you should just forget about them after Nov. 11 is over. A simple “thank you” at any time during the year is a wonderful way to show appreciation for our service members. 

From the bottom of our hearts, The Pacer would like to thank our Veterans for their sacrifice, dedication, and service, with a special shout out to our own, RMHS Resource Officer Chris Danner. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for us.

We would like to give an additional special recognition to recently deceased James Steiner, a former RMHS security guard and beloved member of our RMHS community, as a Marine Corp Veteran.