November 11 is the day Congress has designated as the official day to honor and offer tribute to our American veterans.

In doing so, we celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of millions of military men and women who served their country with dignity and dedication to protect freedoms and security.

Numerous public and private observances and special events will be held around the area to commemorate Veteran's Day. But the message and meaning of this remembrance should not be limited to simply one calendar day.

We must reach out further and extend our recognition for the need to serve our veterans in larger and even more meaningful ways.

Vital veteran's issues such as counseling, suicide prevention, housing, legal services, healthcare, and education and job training must be addressed and channeled through accessible programs initiated and supported by community based organizations and various local, county and state governmental agencies.

We must all become a powerful voice for greater veterans advocacy.

This even starts with parents and grandparents teaching the children about the historic and dramatic role veterans have played in America's story. It is important that the youth build and continue a sense of patriotic pride and spirit and have an understanding of the concept of duty to country and others. 

Veteran's Day should represent the promise we all make to always celebrate with respect and appreciate their service to our nation and its principles and to demonstrate our solemn gratitude with true commitment and action.