Veteran’s Day | November 11th, 2011

Veterans Day is more than a day off of work or a backyard barbecue; it is a day for us to pause, reflect and give thanks to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard who have served our Great Nation.  It is a day to salute the members of our Armed Forces currently serving abroad.  America’s Veteran’s have placed our Nation’s security before their own lives; and for that reason, it is also a day that we are reminded that the defense of freedom comes with great loss and sacrifice.

November 11th, also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, it is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

To me, Veterans Day is also a day of doing, a call to action.  It is an opportunity to show support by attending a parade or ceremony in your community.  Join your local Veteran’s group as they plant fresh flowers at the VA National cemeteries and pay homage to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.  This day is a reminder to thank Veteran’s for their service; a time to fly the American Flag; and, a time to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals upon which this great nation was founded.  It is also an opportunity to educate our children about American history and the sacrifices our Veteran’s have made so that we may enjoy the freedoms we cherish.

How do you plan to celebrate Veterans Day?  Share your thoughts below.

To my fellow Veterans, thank you for your service.  Share stories of your service with family, friends and community, and even here on this blog.  Each Veteran has a powerful story to tell.  A story never shared is forgotten, not by the storyteller, but by the world.  The experiences of the American Veteran in the last century are remarkable, with power to impact future generations in unimaginable ways.

However you choose to celebrate this special day, the most important element is taking time to remember what it’s all about; a day to remember, recognize and honor America’s Veterans.

Many businesses honor Veterans and service members by offering Veterans Day discounts on goods, services and dining.  Click on the link below to learn more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2010/11/veterans-day-discounts/

Veterans, take advantage of the military benefits you’ve earned.  There have been many changes made to your benefits over the years.  For example, the VA Home Loan, popular since WWII, offers flexible credit score and qualifying guidelines, down payment and closing cost assistance, and even loans with no down payment required at all.  Have you ever thought of owning your own home, or refinancing to a lower rate?  Stop in and visit with one of our mortgage experts for more information.

For more ideas on how to celebrate Veterans Day, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website at: http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
John F. Kennedy

About the author:
Jeff Ficaro, Oak Forest Branch Manager, is a former U.S. Marine. His time overseas included participation in Operation Deny Flight, Operation SilverWake and Operation Southern Watch, twice.  He is an active member of the VFW, American Legion and the Marine Corps League.

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