Day Trips From Baltimore-Arlington National Cemetery
Today, Memorial Day 2011, Billy, Sydney and I drove the 30 minutes down 95 to the Greenbelt Metro Station, parked and hopped the green line to L'Enfant Plaza (or as Sydney called it Elephant Plaza). We switched to the Yellow Line one stop to the Pentagon Station, switched again to the Blue line for a quick ride to the Arlington National Cemetery. The stop is only about 2 blocks from the entrance.
I have never been to the cemetery, I have seen lots of pictures. Nothing prepared me for what I felt while wondering down the paths of rows and rows of grave markers of our military heroes, for the over-whelming gratitude and connection to the families of the fallen. There were lots of families there today, some with badges that had pictures of their sons and daughters, their very young sons and daughters lost at war. So many brave sacrifices, so much pride, so many heart aches.
There was a group in the visitors center giving out roses. The sign said "Take 2, one for a memorial, and one to remember." One Dad I met told me that his son, a Marine, was buried in San Diego, he was taking a rose home to his daughter-in-law. His connection to the other families of the fallen visiting this sacred place was palpable. With a light touch, I thanked him for his sacrifice and for raising such an honorable man. I walked away with a tear in my eye.
We wandered through the paths and made our way to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Tomb is marked with "Here rests in honored glory an American Soldier known but to God". Since President Obama was participating in the ceremonial laying of a wreath at the Tomb, some of the pathways were not open. By the time we got there that part of the ceremony was complete and we watched as representatives of military associations presented wreaths to be laid at the Tomb.
This is not a place for running and playing and giggles, but it is a place where you can teach your child about Country, Honor and Sacrifice. It is a place to connect to the realities of war, it is a place to help to understand how much blood has been spilled to allow us the freedoms we hold so dear.
Today was an amazing day shared with my family in appreciation of our military.
May God Bless the United States of America. I have never felt so proud and grateful and blessed to be an American!
Day Trips From Baltimore-Arlington National Cemetery We were lucky enough to be nearby when a bag piper paid his respects to the dead. Hopefully this will help you to feel a small swell of pride....
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