Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Arlington National Cemetery

After dropping Bonnie, David and Emery off at the Philly airport, we set off for Arlington National Cemetery. Rich's brother George passed away about two years ago and was recently interred at Arlington. We were unable to make the trip with his wife Nadine and Rich's sister Vesta in May since we had already made plans for this vacation and couldn't take two trips so close together. So we decided to go and visit George's gravesite while on the East coast. We made a few wrong turns and didn't get to the cemetery till evening but it was still sunny and super hot. Rich had printed maps and locations of his family members' graves (his dad and mom are also buried there) so we set off to find George's site first.

On the way, we stopped at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

This large amphitheater is behind the Tomb of the Unknowns.

It's almost overwhelming to see graves everywhere you turn.

Of course, in typical fashion, we had trouble finding George's site so went on to find Rich's parents' first and then back to the Visitor's Center to ask for better directions.

Rich's dad and mom

After getting directions and a parking permit, we were allowed to drive to the site where George is interred. It was sad to see his name there and reminded us of how much we miss him and how much fun we'd had with him on various visits over the years. He was great to me and welcomed me into the family wholeheartedly--we hit it right off and enjoyed joking around with each other (he especially enjoyed telling me the "rules of marriage" and filling me in on my duties as a wife). I'm sorry I didn't know him longer and better but will always have fond memories. Rest in peace, George.

Although Arlington is a beautiful and peaceful place, it was sad to see all of the recent graves and to know that they held young people killed in our current wars. On one, there was a note in a small child's handwriting that said, "I love you, Daddy." It broke my heart to see it. I hope one day we will find a better way to solve our world's conflicts.

This sculpture stands in the Visitor's Center.

It was a somber day but I am glad we were able to make the trip. We had originally talked about spending a couple of days in DC but changed our minds and decided to head to the Poconos for a little relaxation before going home.

No comments: