03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Honoring Our Veterans Today -- and Every Day

Once the parades have passed and our wars have faded from the news, how we treat our returning soldiers and their families is the measure of our country's character.

Unfortunately, Veterans Day -- which began more than half a century ago as a profound national holiday -- has now become little more than a day for people to skip work or a chance for shoppers to find a good sale.

We should do better than that. And beginning today, we can.

For the past year, I've been honored to be the national spokesperson for Beyond Tribute, an organization whose mission is to change the way America honors its veterans -- not just on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but every day of the year.

To that end, we've just launched The Eleven Eleven Campaign -- a two year effort asking 11 million Americans to contribute at least $11 in support of Veterans service organizations and charities. The campaign culminates on Veterans Day, 2011: 11/11/11.

Please take a moment to watch the video below.

Contributions are distributed among Beyond Tributes 11 coalition partners, who specialize in providing direct services and/or advocacy to Veterans.

You can make today a success for the Eleven Eleven Campaign:

  1. Contribute: Text "VETS" to 85944 and reply "Yes" to the confirmation you receive. Or click on "Donate" in the widget below and enter your cell phone number. Or contribute online here.
  2. Join Up: Sign up for free email updates from the Eleven Eleven Campaign.
  3. Tell 11 Friends about the Campaign: Use our Tell a Friend tool to invite 11 or more friends or family members, or share on Facebook share on Facebook or Share on Twitter.
  4. Grab the Widget: Are you a blogger or have your own personal Web page? Help us spread the word by putting the Eleven Eleven widget on your site.

If you believe as I do that we have an obligation to give something back to these brave men and women who've given so much for us, please join me today in supporting Beyond Tribute's Eleven-Eleven Campaign.