Hello there! Although I’ve lived in Ireland for nearly 12 years, if you heard me speak just a few words you would know that I am American. 🙂 But my being American goes much deeper than my accent, of course. I will always be American, and proud of where I come from. So as an American, Memorial Day is a special day to remember those who have fought for freedom. On this day, I am reminded of a trip our family took last year to visit Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia. It was quite a somber experience. It was spring time, and I have to say it was the most beautiful cemetery I’ve been to, with spring flowering deciduous trees throughout the vast grounds which are punctuated with gravestones – many, many gravestones (of approximately 400,000 veterans and their eligible dependents). There was a strong feeling of gratitude for those who have fought for our freedom. The sense of awe and admiration was truly palpable. We didn’t say much as we walked through the grounds. It was a contemplative time, a peaceful time, a time to remember.
May we always remember those who have fought for freedom.
I hope you continue to be safe and well.
From the Arlington National Cemetery website: Arlington officially became a national cemetery on June 15, 1864. The original cemetery was 200 acres, and has since grown to 639 acres (as of early 2020). Initially, being buried at a national cemetery was not considered an honor, but it ensured that service members whose families could not afford to bring them home for a funeral were given a proper burial. The first official “Decoration Day,” later renamed Memorial Day, was held at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated on November 11, 1921, with interment of the Unknown from World War I.
Memorial Day became so popular that in 1873, the amphitheater was constructed to hold the official ceremonies. Renamed the James Tanner Amphitheater, it has recently been reopened after reconstruction.
A reminder that freedom comes at a cost.