You don’t need a holiday to honor those who have fought bravely for the sake of our country and our freedom. It’s great to be reminded every Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day of how much we owe the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. However, they deserve more than just three or so days a year to be celebrated. You can always express your gratitude any day and any time. That said, here are some last-minute Veterans Day celebration ideas you can still do even after the day itself.
Fly A Flag
The simplest and safest way to show our appreciation to veterans is to fly a flag. You have to do it correctly, though. First if all, you must handle it with utmost care and respect.
According to the U.S. Flag Code, if you’re using a staff, the union or the blue field with the stars should be at the peak of the staff. When displayed on your wall, make sure the union is at the top and to the flag’s right, which is to the left of an observer.
The flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sundown. That means you have to take it down before night falls then hoist it back up come morning. If you want to display your patriotism at all hours, you are required to provide proper lighting at night.
When it looks like the weather will turn bad, take down the flag. Also, if you want to display another flag, make sure the US flag is more prominent. Check out the video below for more details on how to display the American flag properly.
The Fly Breeze USA Flag from Anley Store is designed to fly proud even in low winds. The 3 x 5 feet American flag is made of 100% durable polyester while the edges are double stitched and the canvas header reinforced to prevent wear and tear. It also retains its vivid colors for quite a time thanks to the fade-proof dye used.
Decorate Your Home
Since we are still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good idea to just stay home. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a meaningful Veterans Day celebration. Aside from hoisting the American flag, you can also put up some patriotic decorations.
American flags fashioned from string lights seem like a popular choice. The Twinkle Star 390 LED American Flag String Lights is large enough to shout out your patriotism and appreciation for the people who fight for our freedom. The red, white and blue LED lights create a flag that measure 6.5 x 3.3 feet. They’re IP44 waterproof so you can display it outdoors. The American Flag String Lights are also safe, efficient and durable so you can keep displaying them as long as you want.
Watch A Parade
Okay, okay. We just told you that it’s not safe outside and it’s better to stay at home but if you really wish to show your gratefulness and have some fun time as well, you might as well go watch a parade. That is, if there’s one nearby.
Some parades have already been cancelled while other organizers have taken extra precaution to make the celebration as safe as possible. If there is one in your hometown and you plan to attend, make sure you still follow the safety guidelines.
Before heading out, check the route and find the one nearest you. That means you have less area to pass through so you can avoid as many people as possible. Also, don’t forget your face masks and face shield, keep them on at all times. Wear a patriotic mask and shield so you can show support and stay protected at the same time.
Wear Your Colors Proud
One of the simplest Veterans Day celebration ideas we can think of is to simply wear something that will show your patriotism and gratefulness for those who served.
You won’t run out of options for face masks and face shields with a patriotic design. If you prefer something quite loud, the Perpetual Kid American Flag Face Mask could be the one for you. It’s simple but shouts out your love for flag and country. The washable face mask is made of three layers of cotton and spandex.
The Soft Touch Camo Face Mask, also from Perpetual Kid, gives a more military look to your outfit. Like the American Flag Face Mask, this one measures 5.5 inches from top to bottom and 8 inches side to side.
Host A Veteran
Any list of Veterans Day celebration ideas will never be complete without some kind of party or get-together. This is common for families with members who have served or is still serving. These days, however, it’s not really recommended to have a large gathering of people. What you can do is to just invite a few people along with the veteran you want to honor and give thanks to.
Check with the family or caregiver of the veteran regarding their likes and dislikes, particularly in food, drinks, and other basic stuff. This way, you can make sure the veteran will have a grand time. You can’t host a party for someone and serve something they don’t eat, right?
Adopt A Family
Sad to say, many veterans are finding it difficult to make ends meet and it would be really nice if someone could give them a hand, especially during the holiday season. Fortunately, there is a program called Adopt A Family that allows you to sponsor a family for the holidays.
The Soldiers’ Angels have gathered a list of families with members that are veterans or are currently deployed. Through the Adopt A Family program, you can give presents to dependent children under 18 years old. Surely, making their children happy will put a smile on the faces of those who have served our country.
Even if you don’t join the said program, you can still send gifts to children of veterans. If you have a relative or close friend in the service and want to show your gratitude, you can get them a new toy through ToyLibrary.
ToyLibrary lets you rent toys for a period of time for a small monthly rate. The toys are clan and sanitized before shipment so you shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus. The child can play with the toy as long as they want and if they can keep the toys if they wish so.
If the family has someone in the U.S. Air Force, then they would likely appreciate something like the LEGO Super Soarer. You can build a jet fighter helicopter, or a speedboat with the 130-piece set. The kids will surely play with the set with pride knowing they have a loved one protecting the skies.
Give A Gift
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. We’re sure any veteran will appreciate receiving something from you. A simple card would be enough to put a smile on a vet’s face. Make sure to write something nice and inspirational while you’re at it.
If you want to give them a gift that they can munch on, try the Patriotic Gift Box from Art Town Gifts. It includes treats such as Planters peanuts, Oreo cookies, M&M’s, Cracker Jacks, popcorn, and more. They’re all kept in the America The Beautiful Gift Box.
How about a travel tumbler? Some of you may find it surprising but veterans are not just the brave men who fought in World War II, Vietnam War and other wars from so many years ago. First of all, those who served in even the most recent wars are also veterans. Secondly, women soldiers are also veterans.
If you know of a female vet, a nice thank you for your service present would be this shirt from Veterans Day Army Thank You Gift. The Served Like A Girl Women’s T-Shirt not only shows how badass you are, it also shows how much of a badass woman you are.
Does the veteran you want to thank have a sense of humor? Did they retire from the service without a Medal of Valor? If you answered yes to both questions then this set of Bravery Bandages from Archie McPhee will surely leave the veteran in stitches.
The Bravery Bandages look like medals but with lines you’d usually tell a child when they get hurt such as “Walked It Off!”, “My Hero!”, and “Brave Little Soldier!” Imagine what would be going in a veteran’s mind they put any of the 15 sterile strips on their little booboo.
Observe Two Minutes of Silence
Come Veterans Day, every American is asked to observe two minutes of silence through the Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act. These couple of minutes should be used to peacefully honor those who have served our country and to reflect on the true meaning of the occasion.
Donate To A Veterans’ Charity
Veterans have done so much for us but we haven’t really returned the favor. If you really want to show your appreciation and maybe help them while you’re at it, how about donating to a charity or service organization for veterans like the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). Of course, any amount will do. Check this out to know more about how you can help veterans.
Visit A Nursing Home or VA Hospital
Veterans in nursing homes or VA hospitals likely appreciate it if you would take the time to see them. They would probably relish the chance to talk about their life, particularly their adventures as a soldier. If you have a relative living in such facilities, go ahead and brighten their day with your presence. If you don’t know any veterans, contact your local nursing home or ask the nearest VA hospital if you can spend some time to cheer up the old geezers. It would be nice if you bring them something like flowers, hand-made cards, or a simple gift.
It may not seem much but a small token of appreciation may help brighten up a veteran’s day. The Veteran Gift Series Thank You for Your Service Military Appreciation Coins from AttaCoin seems like a good choice if you’re planning to give one to every veteran at the home or VA hospital. The coins are made of solid metal with an enamel design and polished epoxy protective seal.
Be There For Them
The suicide rate among veterans is alarmingly high. According to the Office of Mental Health and Suicide prevention of the U.S. Department of veteran Affairs, more than 6,000 vets take their own lives each year since 2008. In 2017, about 16 veterans committed suicide each day.
Sadly, many of these suicide deaths would have been prevented if they weren’t left to suffer alone. Take the time to know what a veteran needs and try to help out. If they just need someone to talk to, be there for them. Visit them, encourage them to talk to their family, or ask them to call the #BeThere Veterans Crisis Line. If you don’t know what a veteran struggling with PTSD and depression exactly needs, check out the #BeThere website, too.
Speaking of depression and PTSD, many vets look to their companion pets for support. It would be nice if you can give them something that they could use for their pets. In a way, you’re still helping them with their struggles by helping their animal companions. In case you have a veteran friend, encourage them to adopt a pet through Pets For Vets and other similar groups.
The Complete Emergency Kit For Dogs from Redfora is a good choice for your thank you gift. It comes with some of the basic things you need to care for your dog in case of an emergency. The kit includes dog food, water, water purification tablets, emergency bright sticks, body warmer, survival blanket, and a first aid kit. There’s also a feeding bowl, can opener, leash and collar, metal stake, nylon rope, dog toys, and poop bags.
The good thing about these Veterans Day celebration ideas we’ve listed down here is that you don’t have to wait for Veterans Day to do them. It doesn’t also need to be the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. Veterans fought for our country and our freedom even if it was Valentine’s Day, Christmas or New Year’s Eve. It won’t hurt if you find the time any day of the year to do something nice for them. Follow us on Gentleman Pirate Club and learn more ways to celebrate and give honor to our soldiers.