1 week ago
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Driving to Reagan National Airport back in December we passed Arlington National Cemetery. I was amazed to see that an evergreen wreath had been placed on each and every tomb. I momentarily lamented not having visited as of yet, but vowed to do so before departing the suite life.
As I’ve felt the crunch to complete our East Coast site seeing before we head back to the real life of KC, I had put a visit to Arlington at the top of our “still to-do list”. Conveniently the Friday of Memorial Day weekend was available on our schedule, and so I scooted out of work a bit early and we headed down the Beltway to visit solemn ground during a most solemn of holidays.
The humidity was just thick enough that my girls' feet were soon blistering in their slip-on shoes with no socks. Brandon always reminds them to wear socks but “seriously Daddy, no one wears socks with slip-ons.” I carried their shoes through most of the walk. In this immaculately kept sacred, solemn place it seemed fitting that their bare feet pad gently along the path, so I didn’t fuss. Carolyn reminded me that Moses took off his shoes on holy ground, and this was sacred space, so "it was ok."
Every tomb has a name. A sweet child of a gracious God, created and loved and not forgotten. Some tombs share which war he or she served in, the medals of honor he or she received, or names of a wife, husband or baby left behind. It was absolutely touching and humbling to see so many people who've served our country memorialized so beautifully. And inspiring.
We stopped at the gift shop on the way out of the Visitor’s Center. Carolyn chose a few postcards to send. She composed one to each of my Grandpas who served during the Korean War. Without any help she wrote (roughly), “Hi Grandpa! It’s me, Carolyn. Today I saw Arlington. Thank you for being brave. Love, Carolyn” Last night my Grandpa called to say he'd received the postcard. He and my Grandma have already put it in a ziplock bag to save it forever... the heartfelt words of children have power - I need to observe and listen more often.
Today I am grateful for many things. Not the least of which is good people who do their best to serve others. And children, full of wisdom and simply love.