Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 each year and honors those who served their country. Veterans risk their lives to defend America. Some of them died in the line of duty and others now face serious or deadly health problems like mesothelioma due to their service. Learn how you can honor those who served this Veterans Day.
Veterans Day 2021 Explained
Veterans Day is a time to celebrate those who made the brave choice to enlist in the military and defend the United States of America.
The Nov. 11 date coincides with the end of World War I. Unlike Memorial Day — which honors those that died defending our country — Veterans Day celebrates all U.S. military members.
This Veterans Day, it’s important to keep in mind the sacrifices military service members made. While many veterans are still with us today, they may be suffering from service-related health problems. This includes mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure.
Veterans & Mesothelioma Risks
U.S. veterans account for one out of every three cases of mesothelioma today as the military relied on asbestos between the 1930s and 1980s without knowing its dangers.
The makers of asbestos-based products hid the facts from the military and the general public to keep profits high. The military took steps to remove asbestos from bases, vehicles, and ships once the truth was revealed, but thousands had already been exposed.
Veterans Day can be a great time to remind veterans with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases that you care about them and are proud of their service.
Honoring Service Members on Veterans Day 2021
Whether a veteran you love has died or is still with us, it’s important to honor the sacrifices they have made. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can celebrate Veterans Day 2021, from large-scale events to one-on-one activities with veterans you love. Find just a few ideas below.
Visit a Veteran
Veterans Day can be a great time to visit the servicemembers you love. A surprise visit from a relative can make all the difference to a veteran, especially if they are facing mesothelioma or another serious illness. Many companies let their employees off for Veterans Day, making it a great time to plan a trip.
Make sure to follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines if you’ll make an in-person visit this year. Older adults and cancer patients are at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 complications. U.S. Army general and former secretary of state Colin Powell died earlier this year from coronavirus while battling cancer.
If you aren’t comfortable making an in-person visit, a phone call or video chat through FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype is a good substitute.
Making a Donation
Making a donation to a veterans organization or cancer research foundation is a great way to honor a veteran who is no longer with us.
You can make donations to:
- Disabled American Veterans: This nonprofit organization helps veterans access benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), gives them rides to VA hospitals if they live far away, and helps them find jobs.
- The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation: More commonly known as the Meso Foundation, this group works tirelessly to find a cure for mesothelioma and support those affected. Some of the world’s top mesothelioma doctors are on its board of directors.
- The Wounded Warrior Project: This organization supports veterans that served on or after Sept.11, 2001. Veterans can get help accessing VA benefits, find support from others who served, and improve their mental and physical health.
Participating in Veterans Day Events
There are thousands of local and national events planned for Veterans Day this year. Check your local newspaper or veterans organizations to see what’s being planned near you.
Veterans Day is often celebrated with:
- 5K races
If you live near Arlington, Virginia, consider joining the Veterans Day National Ceremony. The ceremony starts on Nov. 11 at 9:00 a.m. and includes laying wreaths on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a parade of colors, a military flyover, and speeches from guests.
2021 marks also the first time in almost 100 years that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery has been opened to the public. Civilians can place flowers on the tomb on November 9th and 10th before a private wreath-laying ceremony on Veterans Day that President Biden will attend.
You may also be able to participate in an online Veterans Day celebration in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Celebrate Those Who Served on Veterans Day 2021
Veterans Day is a reminder that all who served in the U.S. military deserve our respect and praise. Whether you attend an in-person ceremony or simply thank a veteran, make sure you take time out of your day to celebrate.
The entire Mesothelioma Hope team is proud to help veterans who have developed mesothelioma after serving their country access military, medical, and financial benefits. On Veterans Day 2021, we humbly thank all U.S. military veterans for their service.