Those Who Have Sacrificed and Those Who Stand Guard

Easter morning, 0600 Roger and I had dragged our friend and colleague Steve along to shoot the Cherry Blossoms at sunrise. Afterwards we headed over to Arlington National Cemetery. All three of us are retired military with Steve just joining us last year after serving in Iraq, among other garden spots.  In all his time here in VA, Roger had never visited the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Just walking in reminds me of how many have gone before us to pay the cost of keeping us as well as millions of strangers free.

Just off the side of the path, one stone among many caught my eye.  Staff Sergeant William G. Windrich, USMC, earned the Medal of Honor in Korea.  My uncle Jack Bradway was a Marine Pilot who also died there.  Being curious, I went on line and was impressed to learn that Wikipedia has many of the citations and the stories of these brave individuals.

Some memorials are elaborate remembrances of those long gone.

Others are lovingly tended reminders from the generation now passing.

Watching the carefully selected Tomb Guard from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) maintain their vigil is a lasting and visible tribute to all who have not returned, not just those whose names are unknown.

The ritual of the changing of the guard is both solemn and majestic to witness.  Even the teenagers there on  spring break were impressed.

For all our readers, when you come to D.C. plan to visit this visible accounting of those who have served, those who are serving and all those who will follow.