Veterans Day: Making it Meaningful for Kids
By: Kelli Rolston, Youth Associate
Every year, on November 11, we honor veterans, living and deceased, who have served our country. It is difficult for many children to imagine the ways service members risked their lives and the hardships they endured to protect our freedom. How can you help your child show veterans their appreciation and gratitude?
1. Display your flag. Fly the American flag at home. Not sure how to display it properly? Learn flag etiquette. Don’t have a flag? Kids can put small flags from the dollar store or received at parades in the front yard. This is a great way for children to express their patriotism!
2. Attend a Veterans Day event. There are many parades and community events that honor veterans. Children will experience a sense of community and feel the excitement of honoring those who have protected us. We have listed below a few local events scheduled on or near Veterans Day.
3. Read stories about Veterans Day. There are titles in many different genres that will give your child a better background of Veterans Day and insight into a soldier’s life. Here are some titles to explore at the library.
Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco
Rolling Thunder by Kate Messner
The Not So Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew Landis
What is Veterans Day? by Elaine Landow
4. Write a letter to or make a card for a Veteran or a soldier who is actively serving. Websites like operationgratitude.com, amillionthanks.org, and soldiersangel.org distribute the cards you send them to veterans and soldiers. Here are a few tips to get started.
- Begin with a generic salutation, such as Dear Brave One or Dear Freedom Fighter.
- Express your thanks for their selfless service.
- Talk about your life and interests – Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, and Books.
- Don’t include a date on your letters. Sometimes it can take up to a few months for letters to be received.
- Include only first names and do not include addresses.
- Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead.
Are you in middle school and at the Glen Ellyn Public Library in the month of November? You can write a letter to or make a card for a veteran or soldier in the Middle Room, and we will mail it to the organization for you! We will be accepting letters until Friday, November 30.
Hopefully, these four suggestions will help your children understand the purpose of Veterans Day and express gratitude to the veterans and soldiers who protect us. To my father, and all our soldiers and veterans, Happy Veterans Day!
Local Veterans Day Events
Saturday, November 3 | 7-10 am | Cantigny Park
15th Annual Cantigny 5K Run/Walk. A charitable run with all proceeds donated to Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans.
Saturday, November 10 | Noon-3 pm | Cantigny Park McCormick House
Second Saturday: Family Program. Celebrate Veterans Day by creating cards for the Hines VA Hospital. Several other service activities will be planned to benefit local non-profits. Free with parking fee ($5).
Saturday, November 10 | 1-4 pm | Cantigny Park
Brew It Forward Beer Tasting – Family Activities include making cards for veterans at the Hines VA Hospital, Cantina Cantigny hot chocolate station, poppy craft, story time in a WWII-era vehicle, and preparing gift bags for veterans in need.
Sunday, November 11 | 10:50 am | Cantigny Park
Program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that took place at 11 am in 1918. Parking is free.
Sunday, November 11 | Noon | Glen Ellyn’s Lake Ellyn Park
Veterans Day ceremony with Glen Ellyn American Legion Post 3, the local VFW, and Daughters of the American Revolution.