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Memorial Day: Remember those who served

1st Lieutenant Michael L. LiCalzi

(MoneyWatch) Each Memorial Day, I remove my financial commentator/analyst hat and write as a member of a family that lost a brave soul. Our beloved nephew 1st Lieutenant Michael L. LiCalzi USMC entered the Marine Corps after graduating from Annapolis in 2006. He died on May 11, 2006 in Anbar Provence, Iraq, six weeks into his first tour of duty.

Michael is one of the 6,440 U.S. service members who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which includes Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. To learn more about some of those committed soldiers, I urge you to visit the Washington Post's "Faces of the Fallen", a collection of information about each U.S. service member who has died in these wars.  Before you dive into the statistics on the site, spend a few minutes looking at the photographs. You won't learn about who these men and women really were, but you will see the faces behind the numbers.

While I understand that many Americans have "war fatigue," my hope is that on this Memorial day, people stop and remember our brave, fallen soldiers. Maybe that means spending some time on the Faces of the Fallen web site, attending your town's parade, thanking a soldier who served or even just bowing your head and remembering that this day is more than an excuse for a barbeque. These seemingly small gestures mean a great deal to families of the fallen and help honor those who gave so much.

Bob Schieffer on remembering those left behind
60 Minutes Presents: Honoring our soldiers

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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.