Honoring Our Veterans: International Peace Day

September 21st is International Peace Day. Originally a resolution of the United Nations, International Peace Day has been celebrated annually since 1981. The day is dedicated to world peace, specifically toward the absence of war and violence, including temporary ceasefires in combat zones to allow for the provision of humanitarian aid.

While contemplating world peace on this day is universal, it’s important to remember those who have dedicated their own lives to making the world a safer place. Who else but our veterans deserve a special thought on this day? In fact, take it one more step and provide a service to a veteran. It’s not only our elderly World War II veterans who could use a visit or a ride to the drugstore, it’s also those soldiers who have returned recently from Afghanistan and Iraq and are recuperating from their wounds. There are many things to be done.

Consider calling your local Veteran’s Association and ask what you can do to help out. Alternatively, search for local military support groups on the internet and call them to ask what you can do.

There are numerous facilities and groups around the country that provide support for veterans of our armed forces. Many veterans may feel isolated and need someone to talk to. It can do a world of good for a senior veteran to tell their story to a younger, interested person.

To make it even more interesting, bring along an audio recording device, or at least a pen and paper, and conduct an interview. A veteran may be willing to speak in more detail when they realize you are taking a genuine interest in what they have to say, and that their experiences are being kept for posterity.

Local VA’s may provide volunteering opportunities. Whether it’s delivering food to senior veterans who require some in-home care, or spending time with a wounded veteran while they recuperate from their wounds, many veterans could use a visitor now and then. A supportive, interested companion can bolster their spirits, and their confidence, in a time of need.

As widespread as assisted living facilities and the VA are, there are also many military support groups. A quick internet search will bring up name after name. This is a great way to not only honor veterans with thoughts and feelings, but with action. The same way that they dedicated themselves to a cause, fought for it and defended their beliefs and their nation, so we can dedicate ourselves to our veterans.

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