12/15/2008

Arlington Wreaths

We made a family trek to Arlington National Cemetary to visit our daughter Gretchen for her anniversary. We have a family pass so the guard waved us through the gates. As we drove toward the turn for the Tomb of the Unknown the vista of white headstones and wreaths with red bows was a very touching sight.

When we began our regular visits to Arlington in 1964 this area was smooth green lawn. We have watched those greens gradually sprout these solemn white headstones. A vivid reminder of the state of the world.






Gretchen is holding a place for Jim and me on the left side of the amphitheater where the Tomb of the Unknown is located.
The cemetary workmen have not placed the wreaths in this section yet so we can leave our gifts. We still think of Gretchen as our red-haired three year old so we added the child's balloon to the potted plant.


Its not remembering that is hard - its the missing.



But once that feeling passes Arlington is a serenely quiet, beautiful and comforting place to visit.

Especially on such a warm and sunny afternooon as Sunday was - not the usual cold and blustery December afternoon.

We did not have time to walk up to watch the reverent and moving changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown which happens on the hour every hour day and night. But when we stopped at the Visitors Center on the way out we found that there is a live feed of the changing Guard set up in the lobby for those who do not have the time to take the bus to the amphitheater.



















Ah, another plus from modern technology.



4 comments:

93words said...

Beautiful post, Mom. Touching.

Love,
R

Kate Dudding said...

Dear Ellouise,

I read this blog and remembered your story on how you finally moved on with your life after Gretchen's death.

Hugs,
Kate

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