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This Saturday marks a very important holiday in our country’s history, Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a day to honor those who have served or are currently doing so. However, there’s a lot of history behind how this day became to be. Originally, Veterans Day was first celebrated as Armistice Day. A day celebrating the end of fighting in World War I at the 11th hour on the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918. However, Armistice Day didn’t become a federal holiday until 1938 and was celebrated moreseo, as a day of world peace.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1954 that Armistice Day was changed into Veterans Day. This was mainly influenced by various Veterans organizations that pushed for the change because our country needed a day to honor the Americans who served in all wars, and that’s exactly what we celebrate today. Those who do take the patriotic call to serve are providing the rest of us an opportunity to live freely and without worry. The vast majority of us have the privilege to live in the comforts of our own homes, and enjoy the company of our families. Our brave men and women in the armed forces however, don’t get to enjoy the same privileges. Many of them are deployed in harsh climates and often can’t make it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

In fact, it’s why we at the agency participate in in R.E.D. Friday. Every Friday we all make an effort in the office to wear red as a way to show support for our troops and those who are currently deployed. The “red” in R.E.D. Friday stands for remember everyone deployed, which is what we strive to do and encourage others to do every Friday.

Our staff in front of the office with red shirts on.

Speaking of remembrance, it’s also important to distinguish the differences between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. While both holidays recognize and honor our military members, Veterans Day solely focuses on those who have served or are currently doing so and Memorial Day focuses on honoring our fallen service members who gave their lives for our country.

Additionally, Veterans Day shouldn’t just be an excuse to throw a party and celebrate. It’s a day to give thanks and honor those faithfully answered the call of duty.

In fact, there are plenty of ways you can honor those who gave to our country in the past and present including:

1. Giving back to your local VA Center.

A VA center with Veterans and workers.

Many Veterans receive assistance and care through their local VA Centers, and with that in mind there’s still a lot that needs to be done to help them. Consider contacting your local VA Center to donate or volunteer your time to a Veteran in need. Additionally, students are also eligible to enroll in the student volunteer program. This program helps students receive skills in different fields, while also giving back to our country’s heroes.

2. Attend a local parade.

Veterans marching in a parade outdoors.

There are a variety of parades and ceremonies that happen on Veterans Day, so why not attend a local event? Just make sure that the event is open to the public. Some events are closed to the public and are only open to Veterans and their families.

3. Fly a flag.

A gray home with an American flag flying in front.

Another great, yet simple gesture to show our Veterans and service members appreciation is by flying an American flag. Of course, our insurance agency believes flags should be flown and displayed all year round, but now especially is the time to show yours.

Not only are you showing your patriotic support, but you’re flying the colors our service members sacrificed a lot for. So, when they see the flag flying, they’ll be honored by your gratitude.

4. Create.

A sharpened pencil on top of a notebook.

This is a great way to give back, and get the whole family involved. Create cards, write letters, or even put together a care package for a service member or Veteran you know. If you don’t happen to know anyone who has served or is currently doing so, ask around your local community or send it through a local charity in your area. In fact, there are a variety of outreach and legion programs that work with Veterans in small town and urban areas.

Help to make this Veterans Day special for all those who have earned it. Our insurance agency thanks all of our Veterans and military personnel for their service. May you have a wonderful Veterans Day.