You'll go to bed Friday night and wake Saturday as you did today, living in a free land.

You can thank every veteran - from those determined Minutemen of the Revolutionary War to the dedicated service men and women of today protecting our nation, from the forgotten Spanish American War soldiers to the spat-upon Vietnam War veterans who did what their nation asked of them.

America sets aside Nov. 11 each year - even when it falls in the middle of the week - to honor its veterans. Just as Fourth of July is, Veterans Day is a designated holiday that doesn't automatically get moved to a Monday for citizens' convenience. Since members of the armed forces give up so many conveniences for us, this is as it should be.

This year the nation has twice the opportunity to say thanks for your service. That's because governments will close on Friday to observe the holiday but communities, veterans organizations and civilians also will pay tribute on Nov. 11.

So double up, doubletime.

Fly the flag Friday and Saturday.

Say prayers both days for those in uniform's safe return.

Thank every veteran in your life twice ... that we live in the land of the free as well as the home of the brave.