How to Remember on Veterans Day and Remembrance Day

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day are almost upon us. This year is particularly special as it marks the Centenary of the Great War. But, of course, the sacrifice of any Serviceman, past or present, should be honoured and remembered. But how do we best do this?

Remembering can be difficult. As time goes on, those that are out of sight can also be out of mind. And to remember can bring sadness not joy. What these men and women have made possible is something we must celebrate. Their sacrifice must never be forgotten. Failing to live our lives, failing to use the freedom that they gave so much for, would be to dishonour them.

Live On

The UK’s leading military charity, The Royal British Legion, recognises this. They have recently rebranded and use the strap line:

LIVE ON – To the memory of the fallen and the future of the living.

Last year, on the 99th anniversary of World War One I travelled to Kansas City, Missouri, to see the Official World War One Museum and Liberty Memorial. To commemorate the anniversary, living on, I BASE jumped from the top of the memorial, with a Poppy emblazoned on my canopy, before presenting a Stars and Stripes flag to a Vietnam Veteran and watched as he then raised it up the flag pole in front of the memorial. It was a truly incredible and humbling experience. You can see the video of the jump below or click here to see some of the action on Fox News.

How to use your freedom?

Of course we must remember in the traditional sense, pausing wherever we are and whatever we are doing for a two minute silence . But as well as remembering we must honour.

You need to use your freedom, living a true and honest life. A life that you have chosen, not one that somebody else has chosen for you. Here are four ways you can do that:

  • Escape the confines of conformity. Do you live in a 9 to 5 job, work in an open plan office or cubicle? Do you cram into the tube, underground, subway car or get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on your daily commute to and from work? Do you do this because you enjoy it? Or do you do this because it’s expected of you, because that’s what everyone does, right? But what do you really want? What makes you happy? What makes you tick? Step out from behind that cover of conformity, escape the confines and convention and live your life for you. Create a future that you want to create not one that many of us follow in the misguided reality of conformation of perceived societal norms. Escape these confines and live a life in the freedom that you define.
  • Step outside of your own comfort zone. Go on. Leap from a plane or climb a mountain – that’s what we mean when people tell you to step outside of your comfort zone. But that’s not necessarily true. We’re all different. We all work in different ways. For some, leaping from a plane of climbing a mountain is exactly what is meant by stepping outside of your comfort zone. But that comfort zone is yours. It’s your own comfort zone. One that you define and you can choose to own. Mountain climbing and skydiving just might not be your cup of tea. And, besides, stepping outside of your own comfort zone doesn’t have to be a mammoth activity. It can be something small like speaking to a passer-by in the street. Spice things up. Live a little. It’s your comfort zone. It’s yours to choose to step outside of. Do it your way, perhaps just a little bit at a time, and enjoy doing so.
  • Do something new. It can be easy to get stuck in a routine. Each day starts to resemble the last. Groundhog day starts to set in and we get comfortable with the normal and the mundane. Before we know it the days have turned into weeks, the weeks into months and the months into years. We then look back on our life and, often too late, realise that we missed out on what could have been something a bit more. Don’t let that happen. Take control. Step up to the plate and prevent the sameness and mundane routine from happening. Change can be difficult. There’s no need to be radical if it’s not how you roll. Just make some small changes like ordering a pumpkin spice latte instead of your regular americano. Force a little bit of change into your life and smile at the thought of it.
  • Live as if today is your last. I’m not talking about going all out crazy, shredding the most outrageous party and taking the most extreme risks. I’m saying live a little. Don’t hold back or put things off. As stated above, do something new, step outside of your own comfort zone and escape the confines of conformity. But do it. Actually do it. Don’t plan to do it tomorrow or next week. Pick something, just one thing and then go do it. Live it today. Make memories, create dreams. Don’t put off what you could do today. Make a start.

Remember why so many gave their today for our tomorrow. Honour them by using your freedom, don’t live your life wasting it. Live on.

Jump4Heroes stand on the edge of the north face of the Eiger and sprinkle poppies over the side during a 2 minute silence in memory of those that gave their today for our tomorrow. Lest We Forget.


If you liked this post then be sure to download our free Perfect Madness Toolkit by clicking the button below. It’s designed to help you use your freedom and escape the confines of conformity.

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Title photo shows a Poppy, symbolising remembrance and is kindly donated by John Bishop.