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Monday, May 28, 2007

A morning visit to Arlington

In honor of Memorial Day, I’d like to share my morning walk and first visit to Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery.

I walk by the cemetery at least once a week, and two or three or four times a week in the summer. I live a brisk 15 minute walk from the north entrance to the cemetery, and I walk around the northeast boundary of the cemetery on my normal hike across town – it’s how I get my exercise. Occasionally, I’ll walk through the cemetery, like when my mom visited in March. I don’t do it very often as power-walking through Arlington with headphones on isn’t something I do.

Today I decided to go visit Section 60 of the cemetery, which is about a 15 minute walk past where I normally go. You see, the north end of the cemetery is home to those laid to rest longer ago. Veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I’ve passed the final resting place of CW4 Thomas M. McBroom - veteran of all three of those wars - on numerous occasions and have been struck by that stretch of experience.

Today, I decided to go see where our recently fallen are being laid to rest. I arrived at about 0830 this morning, and already a number of visitors – family, friends and citizens like me – were there to pay their respects. Tributes and tokens included flowers, and stones, and pictures, and one bottle of Sam Adams.

Because of the diligent efforts of milbloggers, especially Matt at blackfive.net, there were several familiar names in the most recent row of headstones. I also came across the final resting place of the best friend of a new friend of mine, someone who I met through Soldiers’Angels. I cried. I cry easily I think, but I don’t think many pass this way without shedding a few tears.

My heartfelt condolences and prayers for those who have lost those close to them; lost those who have given their “last full measure of devotion”. Godspeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your willingness to share about your experience at section 60. My brother was killed in Iraq last year and is buried there. It is truly a special place, and it's very kind of you to visit the graves of our fallen heroes.