Monday, May 28, 2012

Tika & Memorial Day

Tika was not with me when I visited Arlington National Cemetery last month with my son and two grandsons but just as well; dogs are not allowed on the grounds. On this Memorial Day I thought to share this photo with you. The admonition seemed to work; the folks (and the teens!) were mostly quiet and respectful. It is our nation's military shrine after all.

Did you know that Arlington National Cemetery comprises 624 acres right across the Potomac River from downtown Washington DC? And that over 320,000 servicemen and women are sheltered there? Veterans from every war and conflict in our nation's history rest there.

Early burials at Arlington were of necessity. Most of the dead were either unknowns, or loved ones that families simply couldn't afford to send home for interment. Near the Arlington House is the Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns, a mass grave housing the reinterred remains of 2,111 unknown Civil War dead.

The Tomb of the Unknowns (where on TV today I watched President Obama lay a wreath) was established in 1921 when a World War I soldier was laid to rest there. He was joined by comrades from World War II and Korea in 1958.

The gift shop offered over a dozen books on Arlington National Cemetery. I wish I could have hauled home and had time to read every single one. Tika would happily sit beside me in my chair as I read. 

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