Isn’t it nice to have dedicated holidays to help us remember the things that are important to us? I know we should always be grateful, especially for the men and women who sacrificed so much for us, but life gets overwhelmingly busy. I’m grateful we have days like today, Veterans Day 2013, to help refocus our thoughts and build unity as a nation.

When I was 19, I went away to serve the people of Spain in a religious way. In my two years abroad, I learned a lot about many european and even South American countries. I also learned a lot about our country and culture.

Other countries have great things to offer, including freedom. Freedom is a blessing, which I fear we sometimes neglect to remember was not solely given to Americans. It is definitely missing from many other nations, and is something special that many Americans died for. But we are not the only country to have freedom. I also learned that other countries have nice appliances and gadgets; fancy cars and roads; and even trendy music and pop culture. But one thing I think no other country has is our unique and powerful loyalty to, and pride for our nation.

If you ask me, what makes America great is that special feeling in our hearts when we see the flag, or hear the National anthem. It’s the love we feel for the aged men who stand saluting as we honor their service. It’s the interest we have in making sure this nation’s future is secure. Some call it patriotism.

I love the patriotism we have, and if we let that patriotism fade from our hearts, if we let quarles and greed tear us apart, then, in that day, we will have lost exactly what makes America great.

May we always remember what really matters, and use holidays like today to refocus on what is really important.  

Creekside Mortgage, Inc is a company of United States Veterans. We focus on serving other Veterans. We are the Pacific Northwest lender of choice for the military community.