5 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day Virtually

military Nov 10, 2020

Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive. Why November 11th? Originally known as Armistice Day, it commemorated the end of World War I when the peace treaty was signed during the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Many Veterans Day events have been canceled this year due to COVID-19, but don’t let that stop you from honoring our veterans virtually.

5 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day Virtually

Research Your Military Ancestors Online

Military records contain genealogical and historical information not found anywhere else. This is a great time to find and learn more about your heroic ancestors and the sacrifices they made in the service of our country. My blog post "Finding Your Military Ancestors" has a lot of tips to get you started.

Watch a Virtual Ceremony or Safe Event

While many events were canceled this year, many have been moved online. The National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery will be streamed live on The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on its Facebook Page at 11am ET.

The Vietnam Memorial Fund will hold an online commemoration from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washing D.C. at 1:00pm EST with musical guest Rockie Lynne.  

Check your local area for safe events. Here in San Diego, Charlie and I plan to watch the U.S. Navy's "Leap Frogs" precision parachute jump onto the USS Midway's flight deck, the flyovers, and the Veteran's Day boat parade on San Diego Bay.

Tour a Military Museum Online

Museums are a great way to learn about military history. Many military museums have expanded their online offerings to include exhibits, lectures, films, and even virtual field trips. One of my favorites is the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. You can learn about U.S. naval history at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.

Many museums are offering special broadcasts in honor of Veteran's Day. Charlie and I will be tuning into the USS Midway Museum's live webcast "Destination Midway," featuring ship historian Karl Zingheim as he interviews four WWII veterans.

Visit Military Monuments from Your Couch

You don't need to travel to see war memorials. Take a tour of the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.,  narrated by Tom Hanks.

You can also tour the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. Learn about the black granite wall’s construction and how service members names are organized. 

Visit a Veterans Cemetery

Visit your local National cemetery and honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by decorating their gravesite with flowers and U.S. flags. If you can’t attend, sponsor a thank-you bouquet or sign-up to volunteer next year.

BONUS! Send a Card or Make a Call

Many veterans from WWII or older are isolated in nursing or care facilities and can't gather for their traditional ceremonies. Consider sending them a card, writing a letter, or even giving them a call and thanking them for their service. 


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