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Beneath a large tree in Arlington National Cemetery, I found this group of Unknowns. Soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, but are known only to God. Honoring men like these is what Memorial Day is about.
I walked a bit further and found more Unknowns. It just stunned me I guess. So many men that didn’t go home to their families. So many families who never knew what happened to their sons, brothers, and husbands. It’s truly heartwrenching.
Then in pouring rain…I mean so hard that there were rivers in the streets…I see some wonderful people stopping to read every name and then placing a rose on every grave. They were in many sections as I walked through the cemetery.
It just touched my heart to know that every sacrifice would be acknowledged and grave a rose.
I also watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. The honor. The respect. These days, it’s rare to see. Moving beyond words to see it given to those who died anonymously in service to their nation. Our nation.
Point to ponder while you wander…Memorial Day is about honoring those who gave their lives in service to our nation. Veteran’s Day is about honring and respecting those living who have served.
A few years ago I went to Arlington National Cemetary. One of the things that impacted me was the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknowns. The respect shown by these young men for those who gave their lives anonymously is inspiring to me. They guard the Tomb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They do this no matter the weather, and have maintainted their post even during hurricanes and snow storms. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/VisitorInformation/ChangingofTheGuard.aspx?tb=2
I was thinking about respect and honor today as we head into Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day is meant to be a day of mourning and rememberance to those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice. Take some time on Monday to remember our fallen service men and women. Let’s also not forget the families who’ve lost a loved one in service to our country. Remember them in your prayers! To both those fallen and to those whose families were forever changed by their loss I say, “Thank you.”
PS: Memorial Day (4th Monday in May) is not the same as Veterans Day. Veterans Day (November 11th) is meant to be a day of gratitude and respect to honor all those who’ve served honorably, whether in war or peace time. It is focused on the living veterans. Memorial Day’s focus is those who died in battle or by wounds sustained in battle. But any day of the year is a good day to thank a veteran for their service and honor those who never came home.
PSS: Did you know that many countries have monuments and memorials to their unknown soldiers? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Unknown_Soldier
PSSS: The above photo isn’t mine I found it on http://www.barefootsworld.net/unknownsoldier.html
PSSSS: Here’s some additional info about the Tomb of the Unknowns: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/VisitorInformation/TombofUnknowns.aspx