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.

1 comment:

  1. Dear MYRTLE,

    This morning, by accident, I was able to be at the Arlington National Cemetery for the wreath ceremony. Not sure I will experience that event again. I'll post some pictures on my blog, when I get home. We saw, live and in person, the laying of the wreath.

    I have been there before and have visited the grave of twin babies, of my Aunt, and the blot of my 7th cousin, Rear Admiral "Amazing" Grace Hopper.

    Because of everything that was going on today, we couldn't get close to those two plots, which we had hoped to do. Instead someone donated roses, so that everyone who wanted to, could take two roses, place one on a grave, and take one home, to remember the person whose grave you placed the rose.

    Like Alexandria, there were flags on each grave.

    Waiting is a long line, the person in front of me, was in Vietnam at the same time that I was, so we had a brief chat. His wife didn't pick up any roses, so we gave her two extra flowers. One for the Grave and one to take home to remember that person.

    Let us ALL remember.

    Thank you,