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WASHINGTON (Nov. 5, 2008) - During Veterans Day, Nov. 11, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake calls on Americans to recognize the nation's 23.4 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy.

"While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation's call to military service," said Peake. "Participation in Veterans Day can be as simple as putting out the porch flag or reminding youngsters of the story of a relative who served in the military."

As part of the national Veterans Day observance, Peake will join White House and military officials and leaders of the major veterans organizations at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery at 11 a.m.

From stirring parades and ceremonies to military exhibits and tributes to distinguished veterans, major national observances also are scheduled at 33 sites in 20 states, serving as models for communities to follow in planning their own observances.

A guide to these major activities is included on VA's Veterans Day Web page at http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/ under "Regional Observances." The page includes a variety of resources, including a teacher's guide, a poster gallery and links to information about the Arlington National Cemetery ceremony.

Other commemorative activities range from sports events, restaurants offering discounts to military members and individual veterans wearing their military medals in public during the day as a gesture of pride in service.


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