Support our Veterans
Veterans Day or Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11th. “On the eleventh hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect.” 1 “ President Wilson proclaimed [that this] day should be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory” 1 In the modern-day, “Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel, … whenever and wherever they have served …, particularly living veterans.” 1
This year, Veterans Day will land on a Monday allowing us a long weekend to honor our heroes. Below are some ideas that we can incorporate in our children’s education. These activities inculcate a sense of history, appreciation, and respect for veterans. They show our kids ways in which we may honor our heroes every day, and not only on this significant holiday.
Veterans Day reminds us to honor our history
- Honor our history. “Veterans Day can be an opportunity to teach [our children] about the sacrifices other families make for their country.” 2 “With the littlest kids, focus on the patriotism of the day or the peace that would one day bring everyone home.” More specifically, let’s take the time to talk to our children and explain to them the role our military plays at home and abroad. Let us also take the time to converse about the reasons that Veterans deserve our honor, gratitude, and admiration. Especially, the sacrifices they have made to guarantee our freedoms.
- Become a part of and help preserve our history by listening to and documenting the stories of real-life veterans. Encourage children to partake in the Veterans History Project. “This project, developed in 2000 by the Library of Congress, seeks to preserve the experiences and stories of American War veterans for future generations. Students in the 10th grade and above are eligible to participate in the project. They must interview a veteran and sending the collected information to the Library of Congress. Click here for more information.” 4
- Give back to the community. “Just because kids are too young to serve in the military [does not] mean they can’t serve their country in other ways.” Talk to your children about ways that they can be of service to their country and others, some ideas are volunteering at shelters or community kitchens, volunteering their time at senior homes or hospitals, picking up litter in the community or other ideas that can help make their build their community. Reflect on the importance of giving back rather than just taking. As well as remembering the effect that one small act may have on another individual or a community.
- Care for active military. One creative idea from www.thespruce.com is to “host a care package-packing party. Ask kids to bring donations of beef jerky, DVDs, CDs, books, magazines, leftover Halloween candy, phone cards, etc. During the party, [have] the kids write letters to active veterans stationed overseas and sort the donated items into boxes that you’ll [later] send off to the troops.] 2 You could also find charities that actively support soldiers and find ways to volunteer, such as Soldiers Angels, Hugs for Soldiers, Blue Star Moms, A Million Thanks, and Americas Adopt a Soldier just to name a few.
Converse about the ways that children could become involved in caring for soldiers such as donating time or resources or hosting a fundraiser. Talk with your children to see what other creative ways they can come up with to support soldiers at home or abroad. You may be surprised to hear what they come up with.
- Support the families of our veterans. Looking after a soldier’s family may be the most important thing we can do when trying to find a special way to honor our soldiers. Show them that we value their sacrifice by doing something special or meaningful for them such as extending a soldier’s family’s support system. Children could put together fun care packages for the children of deployed military. They could also help with homecooked meals as well as offer baby-sitting services. Most importantly encourage children to find ways to support Veterans with creativity and compassion.
- Attend a public Veterans Day festivity or make one of your own! Have kids organize a parade, write songs and poems honoring veterans. They could create and deliver crafts or think of other fun ways that could showcase their patriotism as well as respect for our veterans. Most importantly let them have fun!
Are there any creative or special traditions that you and your students/ children use to celebrate and honor veterans?
“On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.”Dan Lipinski
Looking for the perfect veterans gift? These Military Coins will speak to our veterans. #commissionearned
Organizations that support soldiers
Teacher resources — Kids Thank A Vet
Classroom activities that coincide with the Students Thank a Veteran program can be adjusted to all grade levels. Many of these suggested activities can be done in a class period or extended throughout the school year.
Teacher resources — Pinterest
Over 100 links to Veterans Day resources on our Pinterest board.
Teacher resources — The Teacher’s Corner
The Veterans Day pages will provide you with an array of great activities and lessons to help you and your students honor our country’s heroes. Ideas within the Veterans Day pages include scavenger hunts, lesson plans, printable worksheets, and internet resources. I’ve also researched a list of special stories for kids about veterans. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. #commissionearned