Independence Day: A walk through Arlington -- these stones expect something of us, to understand what was passed forward

A soldier places roses on grave stones in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. (AP Photo/Molly Riley) Living close to Arlington National Cemetery, having family and friends there, I sometimes walk among the stones. I read them. I try to remember the life. I walk slowly, thankful. It is a walk through history.The stones have something to tell me. I am never sure what. Sometimes, I have questions. They never reach my lips, but they are there. Mostly the sacrifice around me makes me quiet. It seems to impose a serious responsibility for the future. It benefits anyone to take the walk. Remembered dates always have meanings, birthdays, anniversaries, Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, D-Day, Pearl Harbor, 9-11. Dates take on a different meaning inside Arlington. They reflect a lifetime. The cemetery is filled with beginnings and endings, Alphas and Omegas, selfless Americans who gave us an enormous gift between those dates on their stone. Most are not famous, except to those who love them – for whom there is often no one more special. Sometimes there are flowers. Some stones are large, some small. Some carry words. One picks up the 1932 poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye, a […]

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