Memorial Day, celebrated in the United States, honors those who have died while serving in the military. The first national commemoration of Memorial Day took place on May 30, 1868. General John A. Logan declared that the day would be dedicated to decorating the graves of the soldiers who died in the Civil War of which, thousands died on both sides of the conflict. In the early years of the war, the dead were often buried in mass graves without any formal ceremony.
It wasn't until the latter part of the war that the idea of honoring soldiers with a proper burial gained traction. In April 1865, a week after General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Lincoln's death sparked a wave of public mourning, and the government began to recognize the need for a national cemetery system to honor fallen soldiers.
The first national cemetery was established at Arlington, Virginia, in 1864, and it was from this cemetery that the first official Memorial Day ceremony was held on May 30, 1868. The holiday became known as Decoration Day because of the tradition of decorating the graves with flowers and flags. It gained in popularity, and by the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were held throughout the country. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared a federal holiday by an act of Congress.
In the decades that followed, Memorial Day continued to be observed with ceremonies and parades throughout the country. After World War I, the holiday was expanded to honor all Americans who had died in any war, not just the Civil War.
Today, Memorial Day remains an important holiday in the United States, and it is a day when Americans come together to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
How can you honor troops this weekend? Think about them. Research and read about real people and what they did. Remember them. Educate those around you about the importance and reason behind the holiday. Acknowledge those who died in service and how blessed you are to live in the United States. Fight against powers that try to usurp the American way of life and principles we are founded on. Read the constitution - familiarize yourself with your rights and what was fought for. Love those who are still alive and in service today. Supporting our troops is of paramount importance to the nation's security, cultural, and moral well-being. Our military personnel safeguard our freedoms, rights, and privileges by putting their own lives on the line, often enduring harsh conditions and trauma, while they fight against adversaries. I cannot overemphasize the significant contribution they make to our society and the sacrifices they and their families have made just so we can enjoy our lives.
Thus, we must ensure they receive the best possible care, compensation, and resources available to make their lives easier. An adequate support system gives our troops the ability to focus their entire attention on the task they are assigned without worrying about their personal and family life. Therefore, supporting our troops, both living and departed, past and present, is not just our moral obligation, but it’s also our national duty which should be done not only this weekend, but every day.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." - John 15:13
Country Thunder, the annual country music festival, started in Arizona in 1993. Since then, it has become one of the largest and most renowned country music events in the US. Thousands of people gather in Florence, Arizona, every year to sing and dance along to some of the biggest names in country music while enjoying a fun-filled weekend of music, food, and camaraderie.
The Country Thunder event in Arizona is held on a wide-open field that converts into a musical paradise for the four days of the festival each year. Florence, a small town located in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, plays host to the event, attracting concert-goers from all over the United States. The event typically occurs during the last weekend of April, which is typically party season for Arizonians since the weather is not too hot or too cold at that time of the year.
This year, the Country Thunder event in Arizona was held from 8th April to 11th April, with a long list of country music stars such as Morgan Wallen, Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch, and Luke Combs performing. The fans eagerly anticipated each performance, singing along, and rallying each other throughout the festival.
Over the years, Country Thunder has become a hallmark of southern Arizona events, attracting country music fans from all over the world. In a typical year, over 30,000 fans attend the event every day, with many people traveling from California, Nevada, Utah, and other parts of Arizona.
The festival offers a range of entertainment options, from camping to dancing, with some of the biggest names in country music headlining. The campsites are always full of people, with tents, RVs, and campers scattered throughout.
The event is a perfect escape for those who love the outdoors, and for those who are looking for a break from their daily routines. The organizers of Country Thunder in Arizona truly go out of their way to ensure that the festival-goers have an experience that they won't forget. With a lineup of talented artists, top-notch sound and lighting, and a well-organized venue, the festival offers an unforgettable experience for everyone attending.
The festival location, Florence, Arizona, is a charming town located between Tucson and Phoenix, with a population of around 26,000 people. The town has a rich history that dates back to the 1860s, when it was a hub for mining and agriculture.
Florence has a lovely small-town feel, with a mix of modern amenities and historical landmarks dotted around city. It offers an excellent quality of life, with low crime rates, affordable housing, and ample employment opportunities. The town is also known for its excellent schools and proximity to major cities in the state.
The climate in Florence is characterized by hot summers and chilly winters, but the weather is ideal during the spring months. The town offers a variety of outdoor activities for residents and visitors, including hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.
Florence is known for its vibrant community events. Beyond Country Thunder, popular gatherings include the Pinal County Fair, the Florence Street Fair, the Convict Games, and the Florence Junior Parada Rodeo.
Country Thunder has been a staple of the Arizona music scene for nearly three decades now. For fans of country music, this festival represents a momentous event during the spring season, and it offers a perfect opportunity to forget about the daily grind of life and just have fun. The town of Florence, Arizona, provides an ideal backdrop for the festival, with its quaint charm and rich history.
With a welcoming atmosphere, Florence Arizona may be calling your name. If you're interested in planting roots here with a new home, or shopping for an investment property or two, take the first steps and get prequalified now. Click here to get started.
Right in the center of the Arizona and Utah border, you’ll find Page, Arizona. Adjacent to Lake Powell, Page offers a central point to visit many treasured national parks, monuments, and cultural experiences. For reference, Page is about a five hours East of Vegas or five hours North of Phoenix.
Named after John C. Page, a Mormon missionary who played an important role in the settlement of the area. A gateway to natural beauty features, such as Glen Canyon, and neighboring national parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon, Page has a rich history and offers numerous attractions and activities for residents and visitors alike.
Established in 1957 to house workers building the Glen Canyon Dam, the dam was part of a larger project aimed at controlling the flow of the Colorado River and improving water storage and distribution. The project was controversial due to the flooding of the Glen Canyon, which resulted in the loss of valuable land and wildlife habitats. Ultimately, the construction of the dam created Lake Powell, which has become a major tourist attraction and generates significant revenue for the area.
Page also has a rich Native American history. The area is home to several Navajo and Hopi tribes, who have lived in the region for centuries. Visitors to the area can explore their culture and history by visiting nearby archaeological sites, such as Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
If you're looking for fun things to do in the area, the outdoors are you friend. Explore Lake Powell: Lake Powell is a huge reservoir that covers over 160,000 acres, offering plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water activities. Visitors can rent boats, kayaks, or jet skis to explore the lake and its stunning red rock formations. There are also several campsites and marinas around the lake, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visit the Glen Canyon Dam: The Glen Canyon Dam is a marvel of engineering and one of the most important tourist attractions in Page. Visitors can go on guided tours of the dam and learn about its history and the role it plays in managing the Colorado River. The views from the top of the dam are spectacular, providing panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Go Hiking: The region around Page offers numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes that take you to some of the most breathtaking views in the area. Some of the popular trails include the Horseshoe Bend Trail, the Wire Pass Trail, and the Rainbow Bridge Trail. Explore Antelope Canyon: Antelope Canyon is a popular slot canyon located just outside of Page. Visitors can take guided tours through the canyon and admire its stunning rock formations and narrow passages. The canyon offers some of the most picturesque photo opportunities in the region. Experience Native American culture: Visitors can learn about their culture and history by visiting tribal museums and attending cultural events like powwows.
Thinking about buying a home in Page? Here are some of the best parts of living there!
Scenic beauty: Page is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, surrounded by red rock formations, canyons, and pristine rivers and lakes. Residents can enjoy unparalleled access to outdoor activities, wildlife, and breathtaking scenery.
Outdoor activities: From camping and hiking to water sports and fishing, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy in and around Page. Residents can take advantage of the mild climate and year-round sunshine to explore their surroundings and stay active.
Friendly community: Page is a small town with a tight-knit community. Residents enjoy a friendly environment where they can get to know their neighbors and participate in local events and activities.
Low cost of living: Compared to larger cities in the region, the cost of living in Page is relatively low. Residents can enjoy affordable housing, groceries, and other daily expenses.
Proximity to national parks: Page is located within easy driving distance of several national parks, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Canyon. Residents can take day trips or weekend getaways to explore these natural wonders and all they have to offer.
Page is a hidden gem in the American Southwest, offering incredible natural beauty, rich history, and plenty of activities and attractions for residents and visitors alike. Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a great place to call home, Page has something to offer everyone. Get prequalified for a mortgage and start shopping for your new home in Page today. Apply now.
Are you looking to buy a home in the Phoenix Metro area? Your very first step is to connect with a mortgage loan officer, like me! After filling out an application here, you’ll be prompted to upload documents that coordinate with the information submitted. The documents are critical. We, as loan officers, must do a four-way verification of your income and expenses. This is done through your written application, your documents, your credit report, and typically a written form which we obtain directly from your employer. To ensure your preapproval is a valid one, we must be sure your income and debts are calculated as accurately as possible, based on what underwriting guidelines allow us to use.
Once we issue your preapproval, you’ll then be empowered to shop for a home with confidence. Most buyers use a Realtor. If you’re having apprehension about using a Realtor, a key factor to consider is that Realtors are paid by the seller 99% of the time. Someone listing their home generally offers a commission for the agent listing their home AND a commission for the Realtor who brings the buyer. As a buyer, if you sign a buyer agency agreement with a Realtor, be sure to read through the full agreement and know this is how it is structured. While it’s rare, there are some agents who structure their pay to be a specific commission percentage regardless of what is being offer by the home seller. This is where you could possibly be responsible for paying a buyer’s agent. In addition, properties that are for sale by owner, may result in scenarios where you would pay a Realtor as a buyer. Again, both of these are rare. You just want to cover yourself and know compensation in advance.
It's important to understand the typical out of pocket costs when buying a home. Once you find the home you want to write an offer on, along with the contract you’ll submit what is called an earnest deposit. I’ve seen these range between $500 and $30,000 for a higher end home. The earnest deposit is held in escrow, a neutral third-party vendor who facilitates the financial and ownership transfers of a property. You’ll consult with your Realtor to determine the right amount, although the choice is ultimately yours. The earnest deposit is a monetary gesture to show the seller that you are a serious buyer and legitimize your offer. The earnest deposit will apply towards your down payment and/or closing costs.
In addition, you’ll have to pay for an appraisal. In Maricopa County, the average appraisal runs $550-$650 depending on loan type, turnaround time, and property type/size. The majority of buyers also elect to purchase a home inspection. While an appraiser is required by the lender and focuses on the value of the property, a home inspection is optional to the buyer and focuses on property defects. A home inspector looks for everything they can find wrong with the home and itemizes it for you – even down the smallest detail like a non-functioning outlet. Most inspections run about $500. Another optional inspection that homebuyers purchase is a pest inspection. In Arizona, these are purchased primarily to determine if a property has termites and run $75. Again, purely optional, but when you’re making one of the largest purchases of your life, you want to know exactly what is wrong or with the home, to the best of your ability. This not only allows for further negotiation, should something be found wrong in the home, but it allows you insight as to expenses you may incur in the future, should you not be able to negotiate an additional discount or repairs to be paid by the seller upfront.
Ready to get prequalified today? I’d love to serve you. Feel free to call or text me at 623-298-5002 with any questions. Phoenix is one of America's sunniest metropolitan areas. I have lived here for 26 years to date and I love it! You can drive for a few hours and be in cooler weather, drive a different direction several hours, you can be on the beach. We’ve got huge lakes, amazing community, arts, culture, and sports galore. There’s something for everyone here! You’re going to love it!