Veterans Day today finds many operations --- from restaurants to parks --- honoring those in uniform, past or present, with special deals and offers; yet the fine gestures often do not make it into newspapers, notes Grumpy Editor.
Deals and offers range from free lunch or dinner at many restaurants to a free donut at Krispy Kreme outlets.
Home improvement chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s dangle 10 percent discounts. And a number of parks, commercial and federal, offer free admissions.
Applebee’s, in efforts to get the word out, for example, paid for half-page ads in some newspapers around the country to announce its free meals today to military veterans and active duty personnel. With almost 2,000 locations, the neighborhood restaurant chain, an operation of New York Stock Exchange-listed DineEquity Inc., last year served more than one million meals to current or former military.
In enjoying the attractions and to weed out those not qualified, past and present military are required to show proof of military identification.
Compiling the many Veterans Day offers is a giant task. Few newspaper editors assign the time-consuming chore.
But Ryan Guina, an Air Force veteran who writes about military money topics at themilitarywallet.com goes into detail with a long list of operations that offer Veterans Day deals. He also writes at cashmoneylife.com.
On The Military Wallet, he explains, “the military will always be near and dear to my heart, and I want to share as much information with our nation’s veterans and family members as I can.”
The Web site, he points out, is designed to help military members, veterans, retirees and dependents find information about military money matters including pay, benefits, legislation and more.
Lost in the shuffle of this week’s holiday news reports (and newsroom short staffs) was a RasmussenReports national survey, released on July 4, that finds only 65 percent of the 1,000 adults sampled consider Independence Day --- the Fourth of July --- one of the nation’s most important holidays, notes Grumpy Editor.
Amazingly, three percent of those surveyed consider the Fourth of July as one of the least important holidays while 31 percent see the observance as somewhere in between.
The Fourth of July, a federal holiday, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (from Great Britain) on July 4, 1776.
Perhaps, as recent reports indicated, growing lack of knowledge of U.S. history was a factor in not getting a figure above the 65 percent who consider the observance as one of America’s most important.
This week’s holiday marked the 235th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence’s adoption.
Independence Day this year was mostly associated with fireworks displays (yet disappearing in many communities), backyard barbecues, picnics, fairs, family reunions and even political speeches, among other events.
But patriotic parades, still popular in many small towns, seemed to be fading as attractions.
From reading newspapers this week, one may think Congress was working feverishly --- with a deadline 11 weeks away --- to resolve the debt limit that has passed the $14.3 trillion mark, figures Grumpy Editor.
From an Associated Press story by Paul Wiseman with a Washington dateline that appeared around the country yesterday, readers were informed that:
* Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent Congress a letter saying he would be unable to make pension investments in full and urged a hike in the debt limit or “risk a financial panic or another recession.”
* “Republican leaders in the House have said they won’t raise the debt limit unless the Obama administration first agrees to big spending cuts or to steps to lower the debt over the long run.”
* “House Speaker John Boehner repeated the pledge in a statement Monday…”
Sounds like the House was busy at work in Washington in efforts to solve the nation’s budget problems by Aug. 2.
However, it’s another “constituent work week” --- the official phrase for getting out of town --- that takes representatives away from their D.C. desks.
But they’ll be back next week.
Then they will be off for Memorial Day, May 30, before taking another scheduled constituent work period June 4 to 12, followed by another, June 25 to July 5 that includes Independence Day.
Grumpy Editor figures some newspaper editors faced tough decisions in deciding front-page play today: focus on Good Friday or Earth Day.
Both fall on the same day this year. Both are celebrated around the world.
In the end, since this is 2011, Earth Day is getting the nod from eco-minded editors.
As an example, this week's Bloomberg Businessweek in "events of note in the week ahead" lists two items for today: Italy's retail sales and Earth Day.
Earth Day started 41 years ago while Good Friday’s originations go back centuries, perhaps to the 4th century, or earlier.
Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For many, it means going to church.
Falling on the last Friday before Easter, Good Friday dates vary each year, occurring between March 20th and April 23rd.
Earth Day, meanwhile, is designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment.
Some celebrities grab newspaper space and television time by their “green” actions. Just yesterday, for example, a news release --- in connection with Earth Day --- cites actor and environmentalist EdBegley, Jr. who “chooses to ride a bike when weather and fitness permit and takes public transportation if available to cut down on traffic and pollution and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”
Noteworthy, however, is that Good Friday gets the edge when it comes to closing non-religious operations to mark the day.
It’s the basis for the U.S. stock market being shuttered today.
In many parts of the U.S., state, county and municipal offices are closed on Good Friday “for the Easter holiday,” giving workers three-days off.