Celebrate Veterans Day…Every Day
Patriotism runs through the Mississippi Delta as powerfully as the river itself. During this time of year Old Glory waves, veterans parade, and fireworks explode. But after the revelry…then what?
Honoring veterans need not be isolated to a few special events. A few low- or no-cost practices can create exciting and special year-round memories for you and for local veterans.
The Home With Heroes Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Natchez, has created a list of practices for groups and individuals.
● Daily Prayer: If your family is religious, say a prayer each day for our men and women serving in uniform. Grace before supper is a good time.
● Donate to a non-profit organization helping veterans. Home With Heroes recommends a local organization such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion. For nonlocal organizations, do your research. Some spend massive amounts of money on administration and marketing; you want your donation to be used as much as possible on the veterans themselves.
● Create a Visit-A-Vet Program. Select a veteran either in your community or in an elderly care facility. Bring or send greeting cards, non-food items (stationery, magazines, puzzle books, patriotic items, etc.) Visit for a while. It’s a great time to ask questions and listen to his orher memories.
● Adopt a soldier. The web site Soldiersangels.com has many suggestions. This could be a good family or class project.
● Wear an American Flag pin. Make sure you get pins that were made in the United States!
● Show your support proudly by flying a flag at your home. There is a wealth of information at Usflag.org.
● Join volunteers in placing flags at cemeteries. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars would be a good place to start.
● Attend programs (parades, ceremonies, etc.) honoring veterans and patriotism.
● Learn how to fold the U.S. Flag, and show others. There are several good videos on YouTube.
● Start or participate in an American Flag Retirement Ceremony. It is both rewarding and memorable. Again, there are several good videos on YouTube that show not only how a ceremony can be done, but how others conduct theirs.
● Ask your church to have a special Veterans Day Program or Memorial Day Program if one doesn’t exist. Once you start, celebrating patriotism and honoring veterans not only becomes easy, but it can be contagious. Others will see what you are doing either individually or with your group, and be inspired to either join you or create their own projects.
Non-veterans will learn that veterans usually don’t ask for help or to be considered special. In fact, their humility is what makes them special.
The idea is for you and your family or school to create your own events and activities. In doing so, you not only will create lifetime memories, but you just might inspire others to show their patriotism and honor our country’s veterans.
Good luck and have fun!
G. Mark LaFrancis is an author, filmmaker, and teacher in Natchez, MS. He is a retiree of the Air Force and Air National Guard, which he served for 23 years. He is president of the nonprofit organization Home With Heroes Foundation, which helps veterans and their families at no charge.