Showing Support for Veterans Day in the Digital Age
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany, signifying the end of World War I. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with these words:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars, living or dead.
To preserve and reflect President Wilsons’s idea of honoring those who have served our country, showing support in the digital age is a click (or tweet) away. Though a simple “thank you” is always a great way to express appreciation, brands are creating unique ways to share their gratitude. Here are a few examples of what some are doing online:
- What It Is: In collaboration with the NFL and USAA, a financial services company for the military and their families, all NFL teams host a “Salute to Service” home game in November. For every point scored during the 32 designated games, the NFL will donate $100 to each of its three nonprofit military partners: Pat Tillman Foundation, United Service Organizations (USO) and the Wounded Warrior Project.
- Get Involved: Join their Thunderclap, a collective and simultaneous “thank you” message shared through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. You can also vote for your favorite “Salute to Service Award” nominee by tweeting your vote with the hashtag #SALUTETOSERVICE. Use the same hashtag in any “thank you” message to someone who has served.
- What It Is: Heinz is continuing its “Our Turn to Serve” campaign for the fourth year. To help Americans honor and support veterans, Heinz has partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that honors and empowers wounded warriors to raise awareness and funds.
- Get Involved: Find a specially marked Heinz Ketchup bottle featuring a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone and get instant access to a personalized “thank you” e-card to send to a veteran, or do so by visiting their website here. You can also post your message of gratitude to Instagram and include the hashtag #OurTurnToServe. Heinz will donate $1 for every e-card and $.57 for each social share to Wounded Warrior Project, up to $250,000.
- What It Is: The California-based coffee company serves many soldiers at military base café locations in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti East Africa, Oman and United Arab Emirates. The company will provide service members with the gift of a Cup of Joe and a personalized greeting.
- Get Involved: Every $2 provides a different service member with a Cup of Joe. Visit their website and, with a click of a button, select the amount you wish to spend. After purchasing, you can send a special message to be delivered with each of your Cups of Joe. You can read some replies from troop members here.
TroopTree Video Sharing
- What It Is: TroopTree is a unique video sharing service that is always free for U.S. Military members. It allows you to record, save and schedule private videos to be sent to others without requiring simultaneous internet connection between those communicating.
- Get Involved: TroopTree encourages the public to record “thank you” videos for our service members. Check out their featured “thank you” videos here and record your own today!
Other companies are showing their support with meal deals and discounted or free admission for veterans and active duty members on Veterans Day. View a list here.
No matter how you choose to participate, be sure to honor and thank the U.S. veterans and active duty members this Veterans Day, and always, for their patriotism and bravery which protects our freedom and safety each and everyday.
Thank you from RBOA!