Stillness

Last evening, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, I found myself at Arlington National Cemetery touring with 8th-graders from Ohio.

It was 6pm sharp, we were at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and the changing of the guard was underway.

It being the day that it was, a sentinel was in charge rather than a sergeant, proving that on that Friday, at least, all bosses leave work early.

There were several hundred in attendance, a rapt and hushed crowd.

I turned away from them and beheld the serene majesty of this special place.

A slight breeze rippled the flags at the amphitheater as it rustled the leaves on the trees.

The evening sun swept the lawn and glinted off the memorial stones in the distance.

This is a place of memory and sacrifice most powerful in its solitude.

In its stillness a haven of quiet rest and repose for those who served.

 

 

 

 

9 Comments

  • Mike says:

    Well Said!

  • Joan Phillips says:

    Wonderful words of appreciation, Eric! I love how all of a sudden, in a moment of repose for us, it strikes you as a such a heart-catchingly beautiful place.

  • James Cadmus says:

    A solemn repose for a place in our national conscious for those that gave the last full measure towards our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Willie Sanderson says:

    Lovely place, lovely message. As always. Thanks, Willie

  • Victoria Huckenpahler says:

    Hope the kids were able to appreciate it, Eric. They are so tech and quick sound bite-oriented that one doesn’t know any more if they even know how to be quiet and “smell the flowers.” One would hope so.
    Your message was quite poetic!

  • HenryL says:

    I concur with Victoria.

  • David Barbour says:

    Years ago when my mother was a school girl in Jackson, Michigan, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. It was marked by children parading to the local cemetery and laying flowers at the civil war memorial and on the graves of the soldiers and veterans of our other wars. It was a sad, yet noble commemoration. That is gone now, but, as you beautifully note, the “stillness” remains. Thanks Eric for reminding us of the day’s true meaning.

    David B.

  • Debra Apple says:

    I will concur with Victoria.

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