Celebrating Veterans Day Online

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

All over the Internet today, politicians, businesses, media companies and, most of all, people express their thanks on Veterans Day.

Over on YouTube, PostSecret published a special video of soldiers’ stories. Powerful.

YouTube also shared the story of Justin Constantine, an veteran of the war in Iraq that was injured in the line of duty, on its Twitter feed today.

Dipity published a wonderful Veterans Day visualization:

On this day of reflection, make sure to read Susannah Fox on inspiration for Veterans Day and a great BBC article on how social media is helping today’s war veterans.

As a reminder to U.S. citizens, today is also known as “Remembrance Day” abroad, honoring the millions who died in World War I, as this excellent history of Veterans Day from the History Channel explains.

In the world of open government, it’s important to recognize the work of the Veterans Department. The Blue Button from the Veterans Administration and Department of Health and Human Services has now eclipsed 100,000 electronic health record downloads. The Blue Button corrects a national shame, with respect to disabled veterans’ difficulties with repetitively filling out paperwork, and it is a notable example of a public-private partnership.

Elsewhere on the Web, Alex Horton reminded readers of the VA’s new blog, VAntage Point, of the battle in their hearts that war veterans carry with them.

Mark Drapeau wrote a thoughtful post on Sector Public about how Microsoft is helping veterans integrate back into civilian life.

The Experience Project is collecting memories of veterans and heroes. (HT
Reg Sadler)

Along with historic Veterans Day quotes like President Kennedy’s words above, you can see sentiments expressed in real-time on Twitter and Facebook:

new TWTR.Widget({
version: 2,
type: ‘search’,
search: ‘veteransday’,
interval: 3000,
title: ‘Veterans Day Tweets’,
subject: ‘What does this day of remembrance mean to you?’,
width: 600,
height: 200,
theme: {
shell: {
background: ‘#066896’,
color: ‘#ffffff’
tweets: {
background: ‘#ffffff’,
color: ‘#444444’,
links: ‘#1985b5’
features: {
scrollbar: false,
loop: true,
live: true,
hashtags: true,
timestamp: true,
avatars: true,
toptweets: true,
behavior: ‘default’

PBS has done a wonderful job pulling together online resources for Veterans Day, including their archives and more from elsewhere on the Web:

  • The photo-sharing website Flickr offers a roundup of community members’ Armistice Day photos (the national Armistice Day holiday declared at the end of World War I was the precursor to Veteran’s Day).
  • The Virginia state government’s education website offers “cool facts about veterans” geared toward children in kindergarten through fifth grade, while the Teachers Corner online features ready-made worksheets and puzzles to teach children about the importance of remembering America’s veterans.
  • Military.com provides extensive resources for Veterans Day celebrations, support services, and photographic story sharing.  The site provides a space for employers to seek veterans for hire and a buddy finder to reunite old co-workers and friends.

Great work by Lauren Saks.

To the more than 23.2 million veterans who have served the United States, thank you.

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