Veterans Day Speeches

Veterans Day speeches honor our veterans.

Veterans Day is a "teachable moment", so let's make the most of it.

A Speech? - What in the World do I Write or Say?

Start with the end in mind.

Ask yourself, what is your call to action for your audience?

You do have a call to action, don't you?

It's very important. In my experience as a teacher and pastor, if you don't call people to action, what was the purpose of the class or sermon?

Veterans Day Speeches - President Abraham Lincoln & Call to Action

It reminds me of the time that President Abraham Lincoln went to a church one Sunday and heard a sermon. Afterward, the preacher asked him what he thought of the sermon.

"Honest Abe" was reluctant to tell the young preacher so as not to hurt his feelings, but the young preacher insisted. Finally, he told him the truth. He said he did not leave the congregation with something to do that week.

Veterans Day Speeches - A Good Way to Start

You'll never have a problem with any speech, card, note, letter, tribute, prayer or conversation if you start with thanks, continue with thanks, and end with thanks.

  1. Start with thanks. Thank the folks for coming.
  2. Continue with thanks. Stories how others died to save their fellow soldiers. How soldiers fight, and are wounded, and die to save others, to protect our country.

    And even simple everyday stories, how people help one another in their jobs, maybe nurses and doctors helping wounded vets.

    Or how a special friendship with a fellow soldier meant a lot for someone lonely halfway across the globe fighting in war. Or how traveling by air or ship opened a young soldier's mind to the beauty and majesty of God's creation despite crazy wars and battles.

    Thanks for God's protection in war and battle and even on the home front, when so many others didn't make it.

  3. End with thanks. Thank the Good Lord. Thank the folks for listening. We can always find reasons to be grateful.

Veterans Day Speech - A Call to Gratitude

If your only call to action gets people to begin to appreciate in some small way the big sacrifices of our military and veterans, so that we value and wisely use our freedoms, you will have done an important job.

Sure, there are many other themes, like honor, respect, lawful pride, freedom, but in my opinion, every speech should be sprinkled liberally with an attitude of gratitude.

Veterans Day Speech - A Disclaimer

If you were looking for a prepared ready-made Veterans Day Tribute or speech, I'm sorry.

In school, that would be called cheating.

I'm going to do you one better. I'm going to give you the tools to create your own original masterpiece. It's easier than you think, so get those creative juices going.

It doesn't have to be perfect, but a bit of preparation helps. And it always helps when you speak from your heart.

These are tips and thoughts how to create your own Veterans Day tribute or speech, with ideas:

  • what to talk about,
  • how to connect with your audience,
  • make it interesting with stories,
  • fill it with purpose and meaning
  • and make a call to action

Because what you don't want is:

  • a bored audience
  • children fidgeting
  • people sleeping
  • and everyone leaving saying what a nice speech
  • and going home and forgetting all about it anyway.

And what you do want is:

  • the audience paying close attention
  • even children can understand
  • everyone's interested
  • people learn something important
  • and everyone goes home with homework, because they have work to do !!!

In other words, there's a specific call to action.

Veterans Day Speeches - Who's Speaking?

Who better to give a Veterans Day speech than a veteran? No doubt, a veteran would have many interesting stories to tell, many experiences to share.

However, be very understanding of veterans who simply don't want to talk about some or all of their experiences. For some people, the timing may not be right. For some of them, to talk about it would be to re-live some very painful experiences.

Actually, anyone who wants to, and willing to do the homework / research, could write a tribute. And, maybe even give the tribute as a speech.

Good choices for speakers might include an official, like the President, a military officer, a teacher in a classroom, or even students as an assignment.

Relatives - brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, etc. - of veterans and military may also have much to offer in the line of stories they've heard and experiences they've shared.

Veterans Day Speeches - Who's Listening?

It pays to know your audience. If you're talking to second graders, you can talk about how you flew a S-NSA Thunderbird class ZZN, but you probably won't connect unless you have pictures.

Or relate to something they understand. Like you got in the plane, it was cold, you had a thick coat on, and had to squeeze into this really hard seat, and stay there riding on it for hours and hours. Now the children will probably get the picture, because they can relate to cold weather, wearing coats, and sitting all day in hard desks.

And let them ask questions, you'll understand better what they're thinking and if you got your message across, besides getting some great feedback that can help you do it better the next time.

When talking of war, weapons, wounds and battle, make sure that the details are age appropriate.

Veterans Day Speeches - The Key is Simplicity

To children, keep it short, sweet, and simple.

To adults, keep it short, sweet, and simple.

To a mixed audience, keep it short sweet, and simple.

Obviously, you can address different words to different audiences, but the key is always simplicity.

Veterans Day Speeches - Stories

There's something so riveting about a good short story, it aims right for the heart, stirs the emotions, and can make a whole roomful of people absolutely spellbound silent...

...that a good speaker never misses an opportunity to tell a good story to get the message across. Stories stick. The details stick with us. A good story can be retold. We humans live and breathe and talk in stories.

You don't have to make them up either. There are all kinds of true stories appropriate for Veterans Day Tributes.

Stories of the hero you're honoring. Stories from books in the library. Especially touching are stories from your own relatives.

And, really close to home, stories from your own experience, if you are in the military or are a military veteran, or a close friend or family member.

Especially stories that are difficult to share, maybe there is much pain involved, but you tell your audience that this is the first time you're telling anyone about some special moment, a special memory, something that happened in your life or with your friend. That can make the speech a really memorable one.

Veterans Day Speeches - Are you ready?

Once you have your ideas what to write and say, here's some more speech writing help and tips.

So your speech is written, you're all ready to give it, now, how do you give a speech?

Here's a bunch of practical tips for giving a speech, like using the bathroom before, room check, breathe deeply, drinking water, smile, eye contact. How to avoid stage fright and other emergencies.

Hopefully between all these pages you'll get the help, inspiration, and encouragement you need to do a very good job, and in no time you'll ...

Thank your stars!

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