Beckham Robbins,4, runs through the Healing Field of Honor that features 2009 American flags on display at Rotary Hill in Naperville - for $35 you can dedicate a flag and come pick it up after the display ends. (Rich Hein~Sun-Times) More Veterans Day photos here.
Over at CouponSherpa, they put together a nice list of free goodies being offered, mostly today, from restaurants and companies looking to show appreciation for veterans. From free meals to discounts on merchandise and services, it's a nice gesture. Among the highlights:
Applebee's Restaurant - Free dinners to veterans throughout the day.
Outback Steakhouse - Free Blooming Onion and beverage.
UNO Chicago Grill- Free entree or individual pizza with an entree or pizza purchase of equal or greater value.
Amazon.com - Free "Veterans Day Honor" MP3 album download. The album includes 12 songs by The Bands and Ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces.
National parks, forests and monuments - Admission is free to everyone on Veterans Day.
Much like Mother's Day, these are people who sacrifice too much in service of others to be thought of only once a year. The tragedy of the Fort Hood massacre is a grim reminder that our veterans and active duty military are a selfless group that puts service to country above personal safety.
It's odd, then, to think that this special day for vets, which began a long journey to national holiday status in the European trenches of World War I, has only been around since 1954. Before that Nov. 11 was set aside as Armistice Day, originally intended to mark the end of WWI. In fact, in the 1970s, the day itself moved around the calendar to keep it on a Monday according to federal law until Nov. 11 was permanently set aside for remembrance.
So if you know a vet or service member, don't forget to let them know from time to time how much you value what they've done. It's so little to ask for people who have given so much.