5 Ways to Honor the Veterans in Your Family By Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

At a family reunion one summer, one of my cousins asked me if I could tell him about the military service of our family members. Since I am the genealogist in the family, it wasn’t difficult for me to list which of our relatives served in World War II, Korea, and other conflicts. This Veterans Day here are five ways to remember those special men and women in military service.

  1. Attend Veterans Day Events. Check your local newspaper or town website for a list of lectures, parades, or other events scheduled in your area. You can also use map on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website https://department.va.gov/veterans-day to locate activities near you.
  2. Visit a Gravesite. Pay your respects to those veterans who are no longer with us. Search the Nationwide Gravesite Locator https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/ngl/#iframe-content, or sites such as FindAGrave https://www.findagrave.com, or BillionGraves https://billiongraves.com.
  3. Contribute to a Veterans Project or Memorial. Find local projects in a veteran’s hometown. Consider donating to the Honor Flight Network https://www.honorflight.org, which celebrates America’s Veterans with a day of honor in our nation’s capital.
  4. Preserve the Veteran’s Legacy. Pay tribute to a veteran with a Fold3 Memorial Page. View the one I created for my father, John Alzo, at https://www.fold3.com/memorial/20077589/john-a-alzo-jr. Or participate in the Veterans History Project through the Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/programs/veterans-history-project/about-this-program, the Veterans Legacy Memorial https://www.vlm.cem.va.gov/, or the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor https://www.thepurpleheart.com/
  5. Schedule a Reunion Activity. Set time aside at your next reunion to honor the veterans in your family. To prepare, record an interview any living veterans in the family about their experiences. Ask for photographs, enlistment or discharge papers, diaries, or letters to scan using a Vivid-Pix Memory Station https://www.vivid-pix.com/memorystation. Then prepare a slideshow or photo board.

We salute all veterans living and deceased. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.