I live in America, and I have to be honest with myself. I live a comfortable life. Even when I go financial pitfalls and low points, all it takes is a look at the way most of the world lives to snap back into a grateful heart.
I have amazing freedoms and opportunities, and the truth is that I did nothing to deserve it. (Tweet This)
I was born into it. I was given this gift by countless men and women – the sons and daughters, the brothers, sisters, husbands and wives – who serve, give, sacrifice and protect.
I know a Veterans Day video is not something all church communities will use, but if your church is planning to honor veterans this year, here are a few ideas you can use to make “The Start of Sacrifice” more than just a video.
HONOR THE START
- Following the video, ask all those who have served to stand so you can honor them.
- After they stand, and after the applause, tell them you want to honor their start.
- Instruct them to think about the year they graduated boot camp, about how many years ago that day occurred – and for them to sit as you start counting backward (1 year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, and so on).
- When you are left with just one or two veterans standing, give them a special word of thanks and moment of honor, inviting the community to clap and stand for their sacrifice.
NAMES AND DATES
- The week before, ask your community to turn in the names of their friends and family members who are veterans, along with their boot camp graduation years.
- Put a slideshow together of names and dates, starting with the most recent and ending with the oldest.
- Use this slideshow either before or after the video, followed by a special word of thanks by your pastor.
CARDS FROM THE KIDS / ADULTS
- Download this PDF card and print enough for your elementary kids.
- Either the week before, or the week of Veterans Day, have the kids write notes in the cards. Use this list for idea starters:
- Generic thanks for their service and sacrifice.
- List the things in life they are thankful for.
- A simple picture of their family with “thank you” written on it somewhere.
- Hand these finished cards out to the vets as they leave the day.
- If you have your kids fill out the cards the previous week, you can hand them to the Vets as they stand up in the service.
You could also start the day with having all the adults fill out the cards, not telling them they will get passed out to their own community.
How will you honor the Veterans this year?