My grandparents used to refer to November 11th as Armistice Day. They were born in the latter part of the 19th century and WWI was the war that impacted them as young adults. The holiday was originally established to honor the signing of the armistice that ended the war. It was held on November 11th, because the armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 2018. (They really knew how to bring a war in on schedule back then.) Of course when the armistice was signed we had not yet started numbering our wars yet, and this war was known as the “Great War” or optimistically as the “war to end all wars”.
After WWII and Korea, Armistice Day was renamed to honor all military veterans, not just veterans of WWI, President Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954.
I have always enjoyed taking Veterans Day off. Even when I was working at employers who did not honor Veterans Day I took a vacation day, and I don’t just sit around watching reruns of Hogan’s Heroes either. When my kids were quite young I always took them to a parade and made them wave at the WWII veterans, but of course there are not many of them left anymore. I think this year I will attend the Medal of Honor Memorial dedication and parade on the University of Washington Campus, I have read that 15 MOH recipients will be in attendance.
A few years ago I watched a fine little movie called “Taking Chance” on Veterans Day. This year I’m going to make my kids watch, because I think it is an important movie too. Kevin Bacon stars and I understand that it was a labor of love for him. The plot revolves around Marine Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl who escorts the body of PFC Chance Phelps from Dover Air Force base back to a small town in Wyoming, which is the home town of both. Chance was just a 19 year old PFC when he died heroically while serving in Iraq.
Although the movie involves around the death of a young Marine it is quite uplifting. One can not help but feel pride in the devotion to duty exhibited by Chance’s heroism, but also by Lt. Col. Strobl and a host of other military service members. The respect and the patriotism shown by many civilians is also gratifying.
Here’s one last thing about Veterans Day. Many restaurants and businesses are now offering special appreciation to veterans on or near Veterans Day. The best one in my opinion is McCormick and Schmicks. When I still lived in Minnesota I took my friend and fellow veteran Terry to their restaurant in Edina. I was blessed with the great good fortune to be a peace time veteran, but Terry was “boots on the ground” for two combat tours in Vietnam. He is an honest to God American hero. The staff at McCormick and Schmicks provided us both with free meals and generally treated us like kings. I offered to cover the cost of anything that wasn’t provided free to honor Terry’s service. I have to admit that by the time I paid for drinks and my wife’s dinner it was still a lot of money, but it was worth every penny. McCormick and Schmick may not like this, because they don’t make a big deal of it, but if you are a veteran or you know one I encourage you to have dinner there on November 8th. If you’re not, have dinner there anyway just to do business with a fine restaurant that honors veterans in a quiet way. Especially the war veterans like Terry.
My name is Lew Bequette and I joined the Verity team in October of 2014. Although I am new to Verity, I have almost twenty-four years’ experience working in credit unions. I was born in Kirkland and have lived most of my life (so far) on the east side of Lake Washington, but I have also lived in the South Sound, the Olympic Peninsula and for 10 years in Prior Lake, Minnesota. I graduated from the University of Washington (GO DAWGS!!) with a degree in accounting and St. Martin’s University (GO SAINTS!!) with an MBA.
I always knew I would be a CPA, and I was even pretty sure I would work in a financial institution. So I decided I should do something different first and I joined the Navy right out of high school. I worked as radar technician and later taught electronics technicians how to troubleshoot and repair a certain piece of cryptographic equipment. I didn’t get to see the whole world, but I did see a good portion of Asia, and I got a lot of good stories to tell.
Now I’m living in Redmond and (along with my wonderful wife) raising a couple a couple of great kids. I like to take my dog for walks at Marymoor Park, take a few pictures and I’m a big sports fan. I love the Mariners and the Seahawks, but my favorite teams are my kids’ baseball and softball teams.