The stock market should be closed today. Itís Veterans Day. In November 
of 1954 the Congress of the United States and then President Dwight Eisenhower 
passed legislation changing Armistice Day to veterans Day, day set aside to 
remember and recall the millions of American men and women who served in the 
armed forces of the United States of America. Banks are closed, schools are 
closed and in yet another example of the bond market being smarter than the 
stock market, the bond market is closed to honor the sacrifice of our veterans. 
The stock market however is open.

We close on new years day, to celebrate the flipping of a calendar page, 
nurse our hangovers and watch football. Is this flip of a page and college 
bowl game extravaganza more important or central to our way of life than the 
men who stood on the green at Concord and Lexington, filled musket barrels 
with trembling fingers as the crouched behind the barrier on bunker hill as 
the British came ever closer? Is the need to reflect on the passage of time 
and set resolutions we will break by weeks end more important then those who 
crossed the Delaware with Washington or those who survived the long endless 
winter of Valley Forge? I donít think so but we re closed on new years day.

We are closed on martin Luther Kings birthday. There is no denying the Rev. 
Kings important contributions to the civil rights movement in the United 
States. But is honoring his achievements and sacrifice more important than 
honoring those who charged the low stone wall at Fredericksburg and were cut 
down in row after bloody row? Is it more important to honor one man than the 
thousands who endured the hellish cross fire and tangled underbrush of the 
wilderness? More important the honoring those who out of ammunition wheeled 
downhill and charged to break up the confederate attempt to flank the union 
army at Gettysburg and turned the tide of the war? More important the Irish 
Brigade perhaps who endured Bloody lane at Antietnam, the wheatfield at 
Gettysburg and charged into the murderous guns of Maryes Heights at 
Fredericksburg? Than the thousands who served the Union Army from first Bull 
Run to Appomattox? I donít think so but we re closed on Rev Kings Birthday.

We re closed on Presidents day. There is no mistaking the contributions of 
the men who have led our great nation. But are they as individuals, more 
deserving of a holiday than the millions of men and women who they have 
ordered into battle in such strange places as Chapultepec and Bayamo? More 
important to honor the leaders who set safe in Washington while young men 
and women sailed to cuba, the phillipines, china and tripoli on their 
orders?I donít think so but we re closed on Presidents day.

We re closed on good Friday, a religious holiday not celbrated by the entre 
populace of the United States. Is it more important to honor one faith when 
how many thousands of jews,hindu,buddhists, followers of the old native 
american gods, and yes even muslims  have gone to such places as belleau 
wood,the argonne forest and Montfaucon? I donít think so but we re closed on 
Good Friday.

Memorial Day we re closed..As we should be to honor those veterans who gave 
the ultimate sacrifice and lay down their very lives in defense of their 
nation. But isnít it equally important to honor those who survived the 
agonizing defeat at pearl harbor, the blazing sea and sky battles of midway, 
climbed the beach barriers at Tarawa, slogged the valleys of the canal 
against a deeply entrenched and desperate foe, the marines who partook in 
the daring raid of the Makin Atoll, the sailors who survived and carry scars 
from leyte gulf, the Philippines and the china sea. I think so but we re not 
closed on Veterans Day to honor the brave survivors who defended our nation.

Ditto on Independence Day. But is it more important to recall the reading of 
the document that gave birth to our nation in the sweltering July Heat of 
1776 than to recognize all those who have kept her free since then. Is it 
more important to celebrate the start of the nation than those who stormed 
the beaches of Normandy under the guns of the Nazis, who marched up Sicily 
and into Sicily, or those who massacred at Malemdy, or were encircled at 
Bastogne? It is important to honor the birth of our nation and the bravery 
and wisdom of our founding father but isnít it as important to recall those 
who fought to keep us a free nation in places such as Casablanca, Algiers 
and the kassarine pass? I think so but the market is open on Veterans Day.

We re closed on Labor Day to honor those who toil and use the skills and 
sweat to build the American Economy. But is that more important to honor 
their labor than those who have preserved their right to work by storming 
ashore at Inchon, who fought and captured Pyongyang, or endured the 
merciless cold and chines swarms at the chosin reservoir, or those who 
endured the long icy retreat from Chosin.I donít think so but we re closed 
on labor day.

We re closed on Thanksgiving, and it is good for to pause and reflect all 
the good thins we have because we live in a free democratic nation.I love 
thanksgiving. Mountains of food, oceans of wine, football, and no need to 
buy anyone a girt. It is one of favorite holidays. But it it more imprtant 
than honoring thios who served that nation in such exptoc places as Da nang 
or quang Ngai Province or khe Sang. More important than rememberng those who 
were sent out on patrol through the dense dank jungle knowing that ambush 
and sneak attack by a determined foe was likely before the daylight 
returned, or those who served at forward firebases under constant attack and 
in permanent danger of being overrun by the VC or NVA? More important than 
recalling the bravery of the pilots who were shot down and spent years in 
hellish prison cells or even bamboo cages,suffering deprivation and even the 
cruelest forms of  torture? I donít think so but we re closed on 
thanksgiving.

We re closed on Christmas as well. We close to celebrate the birth of a god 
not every American believes in but I do recognze that the judeo-christian 
ethic runs deeply through the United Sates but is this day more important 
than those who have fought through the decades to preserve outr religious 
freedom, both on our soil to repell the british and secure our freedom, to 
preserve the union in a nightmarish brother versus brother, the hideous 
Civil War, expanded the young nation across the great plains and into the 
west, protected us in two terrible foreign wars against dictators and 
fascists, who served where sent on two controversial campaings against the 
spectre of coummunism, or protected out allies and energy supplies in two 
gulf wars. Is santa clause more important than men like james lackey, 
exhausted, dirty with mout and ears full of sand driving his tank across the 
sands of iraq, or the thousands there today in fallujah and I raq who leave 
the comound each day on patrol, putting on their aromor and choking back 
mouth drying, bladder spasming fear to face the terroists in the streets og 
Baghdad. I donít think so but we re closed on Christmas.

In our nations history, millions of men and women have entered out nations 
armed forces. They have many reasons to do so, some out of real patriotism, 
some because of lack of opportunity, and more than a few to escape jail time 
for some misdamenaor given the choice by small town judges across America. 
Some hope to do four years and move on, or accumulate ebnough for college 
and move on, some do the full 20-25 years and make the Military a life and a 
career.Some are sent to war,others serve in such exptic, interesting places 
as Fort Huachuca, Az, The DMZ in Korea,Yuma Arizona or perhaps fun filled 
White Sands new Mexico. They are young men and women who leave hearth and 
home for a wide variety of reason but for one unified purpose..To defend the 
Unites Sates of American and all of our rights and freedoms. We close the 
stock Exchange for political and religious reason and there is nothing wrong 
with that but is it more important than the young people staring across the 
fence at guantanamo bay, or those young men and women who give up ivy league 
educations and top flight careers to enter the brigade, the long grey line 
or another of our nations service Academies. Is it more important to honor 
these occasions than to honor those on the wind swept plains of Kansas 
guarding our prisons and enemies at fort Leavenworth? Are any of these more 
important than honoring our military, from the join chiefs of staff down to 
the newest recruit? I donít think so but the stock market is open on 
Veterans Day.

Daily Spec must, of course always have stats and numbers. Canít leave 
those out.

Civil War, Union Army 360,222 dead,275 174 wounded
WW One 58,480 dead, 189955 wounded
WW two 300,000 dead, 300,000 wounded
Korean Conflict 33686 dead 103284 wounded
Vietnam 58156 dead,303704 wounded 2338 MIA
First Gulf War 293 dead, 1000 wounded
Current conflict, 200 dead and counting
Number of us military Veterans 24.5 million
Current active duty US Military 1.5 million

But the stock market is open on Veterans Day.