Veterans Day is coming up this Saturday. It's a time to honor the more than 19 million men and women who have served in the U-S military.

4th District Congressman Dan Newhouse, who comes from a military family dating back to the Civil War, tells us what Veterans Day and those who've defended our country and its allies mean to him.

"That is something that we can never repay to the level that they have sacrificed. But we should constantly genuinely recognize that service," Rep. Newhouse said. "We owe them a debt of gratitude. They've allowed us to be the country that we are today. And it truly is something that we are grateful for."

The federal holiday was first observed on November 11th, 1919, as Armistice Day before Congress called for an annual observance. It became an official federal holiday in 1938 and the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954.

The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs selects regional sites each year for the Veterans Day Commemoration. The Veterans Day Parade in West Richland is the only designated Regional Site Veterans Day Parade in Washington State east of the Cascade Mountains.

Representative Newhouse had plans to attend the parade, but he received word that his daughter is going to be presented a public service award at the Grandview VFW.

"It's happening at the same time as the parade is happening, and so I'm going to attend that ceremony so that I can be a part of witnessing my daughter being recognized for the work she does in the Yakima County Sheriff's Department. That's where I'm going to be Saturday morning." Representative Newhouse said.

Many people will start observing Veterans Day on Friday with the closure of city and county facilities and schools. Newhouse says it's never too early to remember that being an American is a blessing and that future generations should be able to enjoy just as much of the freedoms as we do today.

"You have to really step back and understand what it means to defend our nation. We enjoy so many freedoms in this country," Representative Newhouse added. "Those freedoms that we have, have come at a price. And that price has been paid by the men and women who have defended our country and our allies around the world."

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Facts To Know About Veterans Day

Gallery Credit: DreDay

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