How to celebrate Veterans Day

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Ky McCombe

The National Flag and State flags are proudly waved by service members during the Warhawks Football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

Felicity Knabenbauer, Lifestyle Editor

Although Veterans Day has been celebrated in this country for over a hundred years, many still do not fully understand or know how to appreciate this monumental day properly and the veterans who take part in it. There are an array of ways and opportunities to honor veterans in the Whitewater community to show them how much we care about them and their sacrifices.

One of the most important things to remember when acknowledging Veterans Day is to not mistake it with Memorial Day. Although these two national holidays share many similarities, they have two completely different central points to them. Memorial Day is for us to look back at those who served and are no longer with us. It involves visiting grave sites and memorials at military cemeteries or buying a poppy in remembrance of those who have fallen. Veterans day is the opportunity to celebrate Veterans who have or are currently serving honorably during war or peacetime. Below are just a few ways we can celebrate this Thursday, November 11 and for the years to come.

If you personally know a veteran in your area, don’t be afraid to ask them in a respectful way about their service and see if they have any stories that they are willing to share with you. Take them out for dinner or a coffee in the Whitewater area to help coax out a thought-provoking conversation. On Veterans Day all national parks are free to veterans. Find a trail in Kettle Moraine Park and enjoy a stroll through nature with a veteran so they and yourself can enjoy the fresh air and nature surrounding our community. 

If you do not personally know a veteran, there are many opportunities and places to get to know one. Visit a veterans day parade or a VA hospital and find a good moment to say thank you for their service. Many service members visit Station One bar here in Whitewater to partake in a drink as well.

If you do not have a chance to speak to a veteran directly, one way to get your thanks out there is by writing a letter and sending it to the closest military installation such as the Wisconsin Army National Guard here in Whitewater. A veteran will be very appreciative to receive a hand-writen note by either you or your children.

Veterans day may only be one day of the year but that does not mean we should only recognize our veterans once a year. Frequently donating to organizations that help homeless veterans or doing our part to spread awareness about PTSD and veteran’s mental health is an amazing way to continue to keep our awareness high for these individuals who have worked so hard to get to where they are today.

 

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