One way businesses salute the nation’s veterans and current service members is to offer them special discounts on Veterans Day. Chains such as Baker’s Square, Red Robin and California Pizza Kitchen offer a free meal with proof of service, while retailers such as Walgreen’s, Dollar General, Target and Publix will offer percent-off and other deals over the long weekend. What’s more, the national parks will waive admission for everyone this Veterans Day — and give disabled veterans free Lifetime Access Passes in gratitude for their service.
Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11, and there are as many ways to celebrate those who served as there are veterans — and there are almost 18 million living in the U.S. To honor their service, Military.com suggests, host a special luncheon, recognize veterans in a company newsletter, share their stories, and honor family members who made sacrifices in support. Another great way to show your appreciation? Help out a local veteran service organization (VSO) by volunteering, donating and/or building awareness on veterans’ behalf. Local chapters of the Vietnam Veterans of America can help you get started!
The U.S. Census says there are about 18.8 million veterans nationwide, and about half are now over the age of 65. Many people served long before they were famous, Military.com says, including Johnny Cash, George Carlin, Steve McQueen and Morgan Freeman. Some of the most most famous Vietnam veterans are Colin Powell, Oliver Stone, Dennis Franz, Al Gore, Pat Sajak, Roger Staubach, John Kerry, Jesse “The Body” Ventura and of course, John McCain. Take a moment of silence to recognize all veterans — famous or not — on the nation’s 99th Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2018.
This weekend, the United States will celebrate its 99th Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson initiated the tradition on the first anniversary of the end of The Great War (as World War I was known at the time), naming Nov. 11 Armistice Day. It was marked by a feeling of “solemn pride” for the military’s heroism, according to Newsweek, and was to be celebrated with parades and two minutes of reflection. Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize those who served in World War II and the Korean War.
There’s no better way to kick off the summer season than hosting a Memorial Day cookout. To make yours stress-free, keep it simple. Pick out easy main courses for the grill such as burgers, brats or chicken, and try healthy, cut-and-serve side dishes such as cucumber salad, grilled vegetables and corn. Invite your friends, offer outdoor games such as cornhole and croquet, and join in the fun. And as you celebrate the official start of summer, don’t forget to honor the nation’s veterans, many of whom gave their lives in service.