Many moons ago when I was in high school, I was selected to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery while on a trip to Washington DC. We paid tribute to fallen servicemen and women.
It was such an honor and so humbling.
I dug up some old photos to share. I am very grateful for whoever snapped the pics. I was young and that experience will live with me forever. Much like the soldiers who have fought and lost their lives throughout history. Whether claimed or unknown, many young when they went to war, thousands never to return home the same. Many more never to return home at all.
On that particular morning at Arlington National Cemetery, there was a chill in the air. It was raining and foggy.
If you’ve never been to Arlington, what a sight to see. Thousands of small headstones in neat rows, filling the land in every direction. Mothers and fathers, daughters and sons in their final resting places.
On a trip to DC, you can pay respects at several memorial sites. The impact on you will be tremendous I know. I am always overcome with emotion.
For Arlington, three other graduating seniors from my class were selected by our peers to represent our school and participate in the great honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The soldier guiding us was so kind and when it was time to begin the ceremony, he turned around and got so serious. It made sense though. Laying the wreath is a very somber ceremony. We were very meticulous and in sync with every step. We watched the changing of the guard and participated in the entire ceremony. It was incredible and so powerful to be part of.
Memorial Day, we think of ones we’ve lost, known and unknown and naturally give thanks to veterans and active duty soldiers we still have. Each group just as important as the other…for they all deserve our respect when they protect and serve as intended. Many sacrifice their lives in the process and we remember them because life is precious and we only have one to live. We thank you.
May our active duty military and veterans have the peace and strength to go through another day and night then again and again. May you have what you need to keep fighting the fight, whatever fight that may be.
Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice.
If you know of any resources to help Veterans (national or local to you), please share by leaving a comment with the information.