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Veteran's Day Design Brief

How many of us really stop to think about the true meaning of Veteran’s Day and all that it celebrates?  It seems to be one of those holidays that can get lost in shuffle of fall excitement over Halloween, Thanksgiving and the holidays.  I can’t remember ever seeing very many Veterans Day cards – although I hope there are many and that they exist.  This holiday is truly a wonderful opportunity to say “thank you for all you’ve done for our country” to all living American veterans for the sacrifices they’ve made to keep our country free.

Veteran’s Day was first made into a legal holiday on November 11, 1938 to honor the end of World War I – which occurred on November 11, 1918.  It was later expanded, in June 1954, to be a day to honor American veterans of all wars America had fought in, as well as peacetime.  Today it remains a special day that is set aside to remind all of us of the service and sacrifice made by those who have guarded and continue to guard our democracy and freedom.

When thinking of themes or ideas for Veteran’s Day cards – one can envision the symbols of our freedom such as the Statue of Liberty, our American flag with its stars and stripes, colorful parades that celebrate these brave men and women across our country on this special day and the wreath that is laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery during the Veteran’s Day ceremony each year.  Some of the ideas celebrated by this holiday are hard to depict – because they are higher values which can be hard to draw or communicate – concepts such as:  freedom, sacrifice, honor, democracy and service to one’s country.

My granddaughter’s elementary school puts on a special Veteran’s Day musical show for their families and all Veterans who live near the school or who are related to the children performing in the show.  The Veterans wear their armed forces uniforms to the show so the children can see the pride these people have taken in service to their country.  The children sing songs such as “America the Beautiful”, “This Is My Country”, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “Yankee Doodle” – songs we all remember from our childhood.  In all of these songs, which we all know, lie the lyrics and ideas about:  America, freedom, and love of one’s country – the very things we hope to depict on our Veteran’s Day cards.  The children spend two months learning and practicing these songs – singing them at home - in preparation for this important show they are a part of.  If they can spend this much time showing how important their country is to them – then we artists ought to be inspired to spend some of our time showing patriotism by using our talents to design cards for this important holiday.

In looking for additional symbols that would help represent this holiday I looked up the 5 divisions of the United States Armed Forces: the Army, the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard.  In their pages are a myriad of visual images for each branch.  Their pages have everything from uniforms, to military decorations, to service medals, to achievement ribbons to modes of transportation each branch uses.  All of these images are starting points for inspiration and ideas, vivid colors, shapes, and symbols which can be used alone or together as a background on which to say “thank you – we appreciate you – you have kept our way of life safe.”

Take a look at our great examples of Veterans Day Cards for inspiration?