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“Honoring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom is theWaving Flag very foundation of Veterans Day.” –Charles B. Rangel

This Saturday, we’ll have the opportunity to our nation’s living heroes in the 80th official Veterans Day. Originally known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was created on November 11, 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance and became a national holiday in 1938.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, who served on any branch of the US military during peacetime or war, living or dead, but especially giving thanks to all living veterans. The US Census Bureau estimates that there are currently over 21 million living veterans in the United States.

You’ve likely already seen lots of businesses celebrating the holiday with sales and specials, but may wonder the best way to celebrate the occasion. Here at Lions Pride, we feel the best way to recognize the holiday is with gratitude. Here are a few ideas on you could thank a veteran over the weekend:

  • Write a letter

Everyone loves mail! Well, maybe not direct mail, but we’d be willing to bet you greeted your last handwritten letter with a smile. This Veterans Day, thank a vet in the form of a letter. Operation Gratitude is on a mission to show our nation’s heroes how much we care about them. And nothing says more that more than a handwritten note that can be saved forever. Each year, the organization sends care packages and letters to veterans all over the county. Find out how you can start your first letter.

  • Visit a veterans nursing home

We think quite possibly the best way to thank someone is in person! Consider contacting your local veterans nursing home to see if there are any residents who may be longing for company. After all who doesn’t love a friendly visit?

  • Invite a veteran to join Lions

You can show your appreciation as a Lion by inviting a veteran to serve with your club and reconnect with their community. In July 2013, Lions Club International introduced the Involve a Veteran Program. From now until June 30, 2018, qualifying veterans will receive waived entrance and chartered fees when they join a Lions Club. Eligible veterans include all branches of the US military – Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel who are retired or honorably discharged. The National Guard and Reserve personnel who were called to active duty for other training are also eligible. Learn more about the program.

These are only three of countless ways to thank a veteran for their sacrifice. How do you plan to celebrate Veterans Day?

To all of the men and women in uniform, past, present and future, God bless you and the Lions Pride Staff & Board want to thank you for your service.

Happy Veterans Day!