Honor our Heroes on Veterans Day (Nov. 11)

Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day is a United States federal holiday which is celebrated on November 11th. It was put into place in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson to honor all military members, past or present. The date, November 11 is significant because it is also the date that the Armistice was sign which ended World War I.

Today Veterans Day is celebrated with parades, flying flags and mini flags placed on memorials and military graves. There are many ways you can honor veterans on November 11th and every day of the year. These brave men and woman have risk their lives and many perished to protect our freedom. It is important that we never forget the sacrifices they have made so that we can have the quality of life that we do today as proud Americans.

American Flags Placed on Memorials

American Flags Placed on Memorials

Here are a few things you can do to make a difference in the lives of our Veterans:

• Visit a Veteran and ask to hear their story

• Write a Veteran or military member, tell them what your freedom means to you

• Visit a military spouse or family

• Visit a Veterans memorial, decorate with mini US flags or flowers

• Prepare a care package to be sent to military members who are currently serving
There are many organizations that send packages over seas to deployed troops. Check out AnySoldier.com

• Pray for those who are serving or reflect on the sacrifice that has been made

• Visit a VFW post

• Volunteer at a shelter

• Donate to disabled Veterans organizations

• Wear or display your yellow ribbons

• Attend a memorial parade or celebration. Check out vetfriends.com to search for an event near you

• Fly your American, military and support our troops flags!

There are many company and organizations for offer free meals and discounts for Veterans. Don’t forget to support your local companies that offer these benefits to our military members. Some of the 2009 companies that offered military discounts include:

Veterans Day Ceremony

Veterans Day Ceremony

Applebees

• McCormick & Schmick’s

Golden Corral

• Home Depot and Lowe’s

• Outback Steakhouse

Check out: military.com to get a list of companies that are offering discounts in 2010.

Veteran’s Day only happens once a year but support is needed year-round. Don’t forget that you can show your appreciation any time of the year. Visit Flag Expressions for all of your Veterans Day and American Made products!

Create Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day is a day to commemorate the brave men and women who have died while in military service to our country. The first “Memorial Day” was actually called Decoration Day and was established following the Civil War, most commonly honoring the dead of the Union forces.

The first official observance of the Decoration Day took place in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866 and soon thereafter became observed on May 30th because of the fact it was not an anniversary of a battle.

The Memorial Day name was not used until 1882 but caught on nationally after World War II…it eventually became the officially recognized name in 1967. The Uniform Monday Holidays Bill changed the date of Memorial Day from May 30th to the last Monday of May to give the American people a 3 day weekend to celebrate.

What can we do though on Memorial Day? How are we supposed to recognize these men and women?

Some of the most common ways Memorial Day is celebrated today:

  • Memorial Day parades – The most prominent parade is the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC where it is estimated that well over 250,000 people will attend. Most parades feature local veterans who are honored for their service, marching bands, youth groups (boy scouts, ROTC, etc.) and other various floats.
  • Visit local memorials and burial sites, giving thanks for these soldiers and their sacrifices.
  • Flying US flags at half-staff until noon.
  • Flying POW/MIA & Support Our Troops flags. 
  • Send care packages or letters to our troops overseas. A great website to get you in contact with a soldier currently overseas is AnySoldier.com. The website gives you the address and needs of a soldier allowing you to give your support, even if it is just a letter of encouragement. 
  • Recognizing national moment of silence at 3pm. At this time, people are asked to reflect on the sacrifices of those soldiers and to give thanks and dedication to the support and prayer of our troops.

What are some of the other ways we can support these troops on Memorial Day? I asked a soldier who is currently in the military the way we can celebrate the heroes that have given their lives to our freedoms. He gave one of the best responses I could ever have expected: “The way I would honor them would be by spending time with my family…by going outside for a walk…by reading a book… by going to a baseball game…by grilling out on my porch…by doing something new that I have always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time….”

I believe what he means is this: Do things that are important to you and are made possible because of the freedoms that are protected by all of our soldiers past and present. Try to do something that makes you truly happy. If we are not taking advantage of these freedoms being protected by our soldiers then what are our soldiers defending anyways?

FlagExpressions thanks all of our soldiers who are protecting our great nation! We are truly appreciative of your sacrifices you make each and every day and we encourage all of our customers and readers of this blog to find some time to give to these brave men and women. Write a note, send some supplies or just wish them well.

Memorial Day is often just thought of as a day off of work or school but we all need to take a breath and look at the true meaning of the day! Please take a look at two of my favorite videos ever:

Honoring Our Soldiers on Veterans Day

Veterans-day1We all know Veterans Day as a day to give thanks for the many men and women who have served and sometimes died for our great country but where and how did this Holiday come about? First things first though, we need to get the spelling correct. Is it Veterans Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans’ Day? I was actually unsure of this and to be honest with you, I started the blog off as “Veterans’ Day”. Come to find out, all 3 ways are correct, yet the US government has formally declared that it is properly titled as Veterans Day. Whoo, I was worried I was going to get picked on for not knowing the answer, and before I do, let’s keep it moving…

Following the end of World War I in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson set aside November 11 as Armistice Day. November 11 was the symbolic end of the war which was marked by the Armistice at Rethondes, France between the Allies and Germany. There, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the Armistice was signed into effect and is now generally regarded as the moment when World War I ended. At that point in History, World War I was the deadliest war of all time with over 16.5 million casualties worldwide, including 116,708 American casualties. It was immediately declared a national holiday by many allied powers. Many nations around the world commemorated these fallen soldiers and the “cause of world peace” at 11:00am by observing two minutes of silence. This remained how it was generally observed until 1939, when during World War II, people began observing the moments of silence on the Sunday closest to November 11th so that there would be no interference with wartime activities.

In 1953, following World War 2, a man by the name of Al King proposed the name to be changed “All Veterans Day”. Al King worked directly with the American War Dads during World War 2 and knew many of the fallen soldiers and their families of WW2. Then, with the help of US Rep. Ed Reese, who also was from King’s hometown of Emporia, Kansas, a bill was passed through congress and eventually signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 26, 1954 officially changing the name to “Veterans Day”.

DF-SC-84-11899Today there are many activities on November 11th…from parades to memorial services to ceremonies. We honor the memories and lives of America’s bravest men and women. We give thanks for our freedoms and understand the prices that have been paid for them. Candles are lit, services are held, and flags are displayed. We ask that this November 11th you lift up these brave soldiers in your heart and give thanks to the men and women currently overseas protecting this great nation!

Honoring Our Heroes on Patriot Day

Any change, even for the better, is ALWAYS accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts” -Arnold Bennett

WTC_LightsPatriot Day was signed into law as a Holiday in December 18th, 2001 by former President George W Bush and is recognized on Sept. 11 of each year. Designed to honor the over 3,000 people who were loved and lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the most tragic terrorist attack ever on American soil. On this day, the President directs all Government offices, American homes, and the White House to fly their American flags at half-staff. We are also asked to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the momemnt when the American Airlines flight 11 hit the North tower.

Many of our lives were woken up that fateful Tuesday morning…I was still in High School in Calculus class when our teacher had walked down to the principal’s office to speak about something and when she returned, she had tears in her eyes. Her husband was in the military.

We watched the 2nd plane hit…

That day is one day that I can almost remember every detail, from how we had to design an antenna out of paper clips to watch TV in Latin class to who I saw and talked with that night. Following the 2nd plane hit though, it seemed like I watched TV for a week straight. We were all wondering who could have done such a thing, why us, and what would it mean. I remember trying to make sense of it all, to which I never did. I don’t think I realized the impact of the attacks until later that week. The impact is still going on today…

Hearing the Star-Spangled Banner on 9/21/09 at our first football game since the attacks was the first time I realized we were going to be alright in the long run. And it has been a long long run.

The one thing that we can almost all agree on is that September 11 marked the day when the United States woke back up to a country of unity and pride. United States flags flew off the shelves, people gathered together to mourn, and moments of silence were taken throughout the nation. Fire Departments, Police Departments, and EMS Services from across the nation flocked to New York to lend hands wherever they could. The nation pooled money to help those who had lost their fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters, and sisters. Millions joined the US Military to defend our freedoms and all of the securities we took for granted before 9/11. Looking back today, it was amazing the compassion and urgency that the world showed from that moment on. I believe that it will be the most important moment I will ever witness.

I don’t believe that Patriot Day was established to mourn those lost ones of Sept. 11, 2001, but instead to give thanks for the sacrifices made… Things are getting better. New York has recovered, people are healing, and construction of the World Trade Center Memorial is underway. The economy is coming back around, soldiers are coming home to their families, and the government has united in the fight against terrorism. Things will continue to get better as long as we continue to move forward as a nation.

Give thanks for the brave men and women protecting our most vital assets: Life, Liberty and most importantly…Freedom. Patriot Day is quickly approaching and even at half-staff our flags will still fly high.

“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” -Colin Powell