I have always considered November 11 to be the one true National Holiday. It is always observed on November 11; it doesn’t skip to a Monday just to make it convenient for a three day holiday; it hasn’t become commercialized. It was nationalized for one specific reason, and that reason remains today
My School District has always observed Veterans’ Day in a special way. The 8th Grade Class would conduct the program, and spend weeks preparing for the event. They would interview Veterans’, write essays, and rehearse patriotic songs. The program would begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with Taps and a Military Gun Salute at 11 a.m. When I was an 8th Grader, I wrote an essay which was deemed worthy to be read aloud under the flag pole on a chilly November morning. I am extremely grateful the 8th Grade Students at my local school still present this program today.
When I started working at First National, my dad made this comment to me: “The Veterans have to work; but the bankers get the day off”. He was referring to himself and his fellow soldiers that had learned a life-long trade while serving their Country. I agreed it didn’t sound fair. I made a commitment that day to have lunch with my Dad every Veterans’ Day. It usually included an oil change, spending some time in the dealership observing the mechanics in action, and of course, a tour of the show room to check out the latest and greatest vehicles manufactured in Detroit. We solved a lot of the World’s problems that day over a cheeseburger and cup of coffee.
After Dad retired from his “paying job” and his schedule became even busier, I began a new tradition of attending the morning Veterans’ Day program at the local school. It is so heartwarming to see our youth paying tribute to our Heroes. On this day you can see the transformation as they change from learning about Veterans’ Day to teaching about Veterans’ Day.
Today, please join me in thanking a Veteran for their service, and in providing a little education to those who have never understood why November 11 is one of the most important days on the calendar.