Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011: A humble thank-you for your service

Honoring those who served is the focus of Memorial Day in the United States today. Mr. Myrt and I visited the Alexandria National Cemetery this past Saturday to reflect on the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, and to see the flags that adorn their grave sites.

As I walked among the tombstones, each adorned with a small flag, I was struck by this view in the photo below. 

Each serviceman supported a higher cause, represented by the large flag in the center of the cemetery. We spoke with other visitors who explained this flag is new and was raised in a ceremony held earlier that day in conjunction with a gathering of veterans and local Boy Scouts troops.

Thank-you to those who served for a cause greater than themselves.

Here are a few of the graves we visited:

Robert Dodd Jerolman
Pvt. Tank Corps
World War I
September 17 1884
April 19 1962

Thomas H. Roberts
(illegible second line)
Died Mar 22, 1864
Aged 17 years and 7 months.

George F. Nute
Co F
15 Regt
Vt Inf
Nov 25 1862

George William Gallahan
Cpl Btry C
385 Field Aty FN
World War II
July 6 1920
April 29 1962

John Robert Travers
Co K
3 Reg
VA Inf
Sp Am War
April 12 1873
Dec 23 1962

Marie Loretta Wright
2114 Base Unit AAF
World War II
Feb 7 1905
September 29 1963

Donald E Field
US Army
World War II
Aug 11 1912
Jun 4 1975

C. H. Downing
[We think this stands for US Secret Service.]

 Hugh Short
Pvt 115 CO
Coast Arty
Sp-Am War
April 1 1874
Jan 23 1965

James Bernard Farrall
US Marine Corps
World War II
Aug 12 1914
Jul 25 1965

US Soldier

Morris K. Barrett
1 Aux Surg GP
World War II
August 18 1900
April 6 1967

Joe Roger Held
June 23 1931
Oct 29 2007
[Animal Specialty Group, US Public Health Service]

Richard W Vanderstelt
US Army
July 18 1941
Jan 22 1997

 Hugh Dawson
Co A
1 Mich Cav
November 1 1862

Posting these pictures and typing the info from each tombstone has been quite an emotional experience for me.

This is a picture of my soldier, now retired, as he straightens a flag at the site of a fellow soldier's grave:

God bless America.