Whether you are a caregiver looking after a veteran or you are a veteran yourself, November 11th is a day for reflection and appreciation.
Remembrance Day commemorates civilians and military personnel who served their country, as well as those who lost their lives in armed conflicts.
Remembrance Day commemorates civilians and military personnel who served their country, as well as those who lost their lives in armed conflicts. Find out more on the Veterans Affairs website.
There are many ways that one can pay tribute and show appreciation on Remembrance Day. When caring for veterans, it can be a meaningful gesture to acknowledge this day in a special way.
Honouring Remembrance Day
Here are some ideas on how to honour Remembrance Day for the veteran in your care:
Wear a Red Poppy
The poppy is the official symbol of Remembrance in Canada. People typically wear a Remembrance Poppy during the two weeks leading up to November 11th. It’s suggested that poppies are worn on the left lapel, or positioned as close to the heart as possible. Remembrance Poppies are distributed by The Royal Canadian Legion and can be found in many locations such as grocery stores and malls. A small donation is suggested, with the money going toward supporting veterans and their families. In addition to the pin-style poppy, sticker poppies are also available, and are a good choice for the elderly, and for caregivers. The sticker poppy is a good choice because it’s easy to apply and remove from clothing for anyone with dexterity concerns. It also avoids the inevitable pin-prick from the traditional style poppy.
Attend a Local Remembrance Day Service
If you’re able to, attending a Remembrance Day ceremony is a meaningful way to honour our veterans. However, many people are unable to attend these ceremonies in person, so another great option is to watch a Remembrance Day service on TV. Watching the broadcast with the veteran or person you are caring for is a simple way to acknowledge Remembrance Day together. There’s likely going to be a lot of news coverage surrounding Remembrance Day services and any local events.
Many veterans have interesting stories to tell. Show your curiosity by asking them to tell you about their experiences. If you are a veteran, this is a good opportunity to share your story with the people around you. Pull out some old photos and see what kind of memories start coming back. You and the person in your care can learn a lot about one another through the sharing of past experiences. You may also want to arrange a small social visit including other veterans and veteran caregivers. Sharing stories from the past is a great example of a legacy building activity.
Display Veteran Service Awards and Memorabilia
Medals, dog tags, and photos are great reminders of the service that the veteran in your care provided for our country. Rather than keeping these items in storage, why not have them professionally mounted in a frame or shadowbox along with their photo in uniform? Or, you can create a scrapbook filled with their letters, photos, and other wartime memorabilia. It could be an activity that you can both work on together leading up to Remembrance Day.
Observe a Moment of Silence
On Remembrance Day, the tradition is to observe a moment of silence at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. Take this time to reflect on the sacrifice made by members of Canada’s Armed Forces, or think about the veterans you know personally.
Thank a Veteran
When you meet a veteran, or if the person in your care is a veteran, take a moment to sincerely thank them for their service. There are even organizations that facilitate letter writing to troops currently serving their country.
If you are a caregiver to a veteran it’s important to acknowledge the significance of Remembrance Day. Taking in a Remembrance Day ceremony, wearing a red poppy, looking through photos, or maybe even holding their service medals are just a few ways to help the veteran in your care remember and honour their fellow soldiers and their contributions.
How will you honour veterans this Remembrance Day? Let us know in the comments below.