Honouring Heroes Together: Family Activities for Veterans Day
November 11 marks Veterans Day in the United States, and some commonwealth countries observe Remembrance Day. Unlike many other holidays, Veterans (and Remembrance) Day is intended to recognize the horrors of war and honour the heroes who fought for our freedom. It’s important to let this holiday be slightly uncomfortable, and not shy away from the sometimes-painful truth.
Embrace Silence and Uncertainty
One of the most well-known ways to observe Veterans Day is the two minutes of silence at 2:11 PM EST. Using those moments for quiet contemplation is sure to honour those heroes in the serious tone that’s most appropriate for the day. Veterans are heroes, yes, but they are also human beings, and may prefer to be acknowledged this way. For families with crammed schedules, observing those two minutes of silence is one brief way to show appreciation and acknowledgment.
However, many times this silence can bring feelings of uncertainty. Maybe you personally don’t know much about the holiday, or the act of contemplation has left you with some uncomfortable feelings. Both are completely normal for a day like today, and there are many ways to deal with this discomfort while involving the whole family.
Young children may be unfamiliar with the significance of Veterans/Remembrance Day, so taking them to a war memorial could be a way to broach the subject. Children may be young, but education is important and will stick if they’re exposed to these topics early.
Creative Family Activities
It may be worth it to foster their creative side on a day like today. Writing poems or creating artwork to honour veterans may help them realize the true spirit of the day. YOu can share with others, with veterans, or with the community at large through school projects or local newspapers.
If your family members are all at an age where they can understand the significance of Veterans Day, donating to a local homeless shelter for Veterans or an organization committed to giving them a helping hand is certainly worth it. Many veterans may be alone and also appreciate receiving artwork from school-age children.
Ultimately, Veterans Day is about honouring the heroes who made it home and remembering those who didn’t. It’s important not to turn this holiday into something fun, because the reality of the situation is that war is not fun. Regardless of what your family relationships look like and how old these family members are, it’s important that we all understand the message behind why this day is important.
In conclusion, Veterans Day and Remembrance Day should be about education and quiet contemplation. It’s tempting to want a lighter mood for family activities, but on a day like this, it’s more impactful to sit with discomfort and not sugarcoat the unfortunate fallout these conflicts create. Even the heroes that fought for our freedom had to endure these trials and honouring them can be as simple as letting yourself learn and grow. Creativity and family activities can help you understand the impact of this day together.
Check out 365give.ca for more family activities to grow your giving journey.
There are many other things to celebrate at this time of year, so why not look at the 365give blog to get inspired and make those holidays fun for everybody?