Veterans Day 2020

Veterans Day 2020

Veterans Day is observed on November 11 every year—an homage to the original intent of celebrating the end of the first World War, which is generally considered to have ended in armistice on that day. Or to be historically accurate: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year. It has since expanded to be a day for honoring and thanking those who have served our nation in any war or conflict, whether living or deceased.

Here in the Black Hills, we have a higher-than-average veteran community. This isn’t surprising, given both Ellsworth Air Force Base and Camp Rapid in Rapid City, plus the Veterans Affairs campuses in Hot Springs and Fort Meade.

While our veterans serve our country out of a sense of duty and not for recognition, we as a community can still show our appreciation for the sacrifice they and their families make. Here are just a few ways to do so here in the Black Hills:

  • Attend Veterans Day events. While these look different this year, Rapid City’s VFW post 1273 is holding a brief ceremony in Memorial Park at 11 a.m., including a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.

  • Support local veterans organizations. Veterans Day is when we formally recognize those who have served our country, but by supporting organizations who serve veterans, we support them all year. Volunteer, donate, even just have lunch or attend their events—many host fundraisers throughout the year, but especially on Veterans Day. Local organizations include, among others:

    • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

    • American Legion

    • The Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

    • The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)

  • Volunteer with Veterans Affairs. Our area has two VA facilities, both of which benefit from volunteers and donations. To see how you can help, click here.

  • If you know a veteran in our community, consider applying to sponsor them for a banner in downtown Rapid City as part of the Veterans Honor Banner Project. Banners hang for three years, and afterwards you get to keep yours as a memento.

  • Simply say “thank you for your service.” If you see veterans out in the community, a simple “Thank You” lets them know that their sacrifice is noticed and appreciated.

Veterans Day is an important reminder to all of us to recognize the sacrifices of members within our community. While this year we cannot gather to thank them like we normally do, that doesn’t mean we can’t give them meaningful support in other ways.