Sun Editorial: An even more special Veterans Day this year

It’s the 100th commemoration of the event that eventually led to Veterans Day — the end of World War I.

Every Veterans Day is special. It’s the day, Nov. 11, set aside every year to honor the brave men and women who have defended this country. Ceremonies and special events are held to show them the appreciation and honor they have earned.

But this year, Veterans Day has special meaning. It’s the 100th commemoration of the event that eventually led to Veterans Day — the end of World War I, the War to End All Wars. All major hostilities in the conflict officially ended in 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. First known as Armistice Day, the day was renamed to Veterans Day in the 1950s. Since the 11th falls on a Sunday this year, the holiday will be formally recognized on Monday.

Millions of Americans have served and are serving this country. While they deserve a day of recognition, they should receive so much more.

That’s why, in addition to flying the flag and making respectful and thankful social media posts, something more tangible is needed. Let’s not only tell veterans we appreciate them, let’s show them.

There are many ways to accomplish this. People can start by making a donation to a veterans group, such as Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey (money would be great since postage rates have skyrocketed for the group’s care packages sent overseas). Learn more at operationyellowribbon.org.

Also, contact other groups that sponsor events on Veterans Day and throughout the year, such as American Legions and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Ask them what they need.

If you know a veteran or attend a Veterans Day event, seek his or her input. Can you make a donation in their name to a nonprofit close to their heart, for example?

We enjoy our freedoms — like casting a ballot last Tuesday — because men and women put their lives on the line, or even lost their lives, in defense of the country.

On this special Veterans Day, let’s do all we can to show our appreciation.