How You Can Celebrate Veterans Day the Right Way

“Word to the nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”

President John F. Kennedy, 1962

On Monday, Veterans Day will be celebrated across the
United States. The holiday, originally named Armistice Day, marked the end of
fighting in World War I when the Allies and the German Empire declared
a cease-fire
.

The holiday has continued
to evolve with the nation.

After World War II and
the Korean War saw millions of Americans put into uniform, Congress knew that
all who served must be honored. On June 1, 1954, Armistice Day was amended
to Veterans Day
to reflect all of their contributions to
protecting freedom and the homeland.

Even to this day, there is some confusion among Americans about the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but the distinction matters.

Memorial Day is a chance to remember all the men and women who have died in service to our country. Veterans Day is a celebration of all the service members and veterans who have served our country.

There are currently more
than 18.2
million veterans
in the U.S., making up almost 10% of the
entire adult population. Statistics show that these veterans thrive in the
workforce because they bring their unique skills and leadership to nearly every
industry and community in our country.

Veterans from the 9/11
era hold an employment rate of approximately 78%,
a full 8% higher than the civilian population. Additionally, in 2015 it was
shown that veterans’ yearly average income reached
$80,000
, as compared to only $68,000 among non-veterans.

Their success doesn’t stop
there. According to a 2017 study by the Graduate Center at the City University
of New York, one
in eight
young adults in America did not graduate from high
school. By comparison, only one in 33 veterans failed graduate.

Local communities
especially benefit from having resident veterans because their civic
participation and volunteerism are unmatched.


Find out how you can serve veterans in
your own community.

Veterans vote in local
elections at a rate of 73.8%. Non-veterans vote at a
rate of only 57.2%. They also put in an average of 177 hours of volunteer work
each year, 25%
more than the rest of the population.  

These are America’s future
leaders and innovators, individuals dedicated to bringing military values to
the federal government and private sector.

As a civilian, it isn’t
always clear how to appropriately honor the veterans who still walk among us.
Not everyone can attend Veterans Day parades or afford to donate to veteran’s
advocacy groups.

Fortunately, there are
many ways to express your gratitude.

Simply speaking to a
service member about their experiences, visiting a VA hospital, or writing to
troops deployed overseas are all great ways for citizens to do their part.
Participating in the Veterans
Day moment of silence
, observed for two minutes at 3:11 p.m.
Atlantic Standard Time, is another simple yet effective way to take part in the
day.

Unfortunately, it appears
there never will be a war to end all wars, but there also will never be a day
in which the U.S. military isn’t ready to protect our country no matter the
cost.

Thank you to all who have
served, and happy Veterans Day.

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