Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hi Dad

Dad is buried at Arlington Cemetery. Each year for the last 40 years soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry place a single American flag at each grave at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. It's called the Flags-in ceremony. It takes them around 3 hours to place 260,000 flags on the graves. Then the soldiers stay in the cemetery for the entire weekend to make sure all the graves keep their flags.

I always think of the soldier who places the flag at my Dad's grave and hope that he or she is never in harm's way.


18 comments:

  1. I love this. I'm going to link to it in my blog tomorrow if that is okay with you!

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  2. That's a wonderful tradition to honor those who served.

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  3. I told my children the story of your father being buried there, and how the soldiers hand you the flag and say, "on behalf of a grateful nation."

    That's a part of the ceremony we never knew of, and I hope my children retell that very special moment, whenever the occasion arises.

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  4. This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. Love,
    Janie

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  5. I'm going to share your post with my children tomorrow as part of our remembrance. It's important for kids to realize that the men and women buried there belong to a family too.

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  6. Kimberly, I'll add your name to Jaokina's and the Empress' on the list I'm sending my sister about Dad and the kind people who are remembering him, and others, through this post. I thank you all.

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  7. Japolina, sorry I spelled your name wrong. If it helps, I often misspell my own.

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  8. Thanks for sharing it. My brother is a Lt Col in the Marines (multiple tours), and both my grandfathers served.

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  9. I didn't know the soldiers stayed there all weekend. What a heart touching tradition to honor those to who have given us so much.

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  10. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and meaningful tradition, and I am yet another sending my gratitude on behalf of very grateful nation.

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  11. Arlington Cemetery, we stop there on every visit to DC. Each year we walk the lines and stop and reflect and say a prayer ... it is an overwhelming sight, and cannot fail to touch your heart.
    Thinking of you, and all of those lost today xxx

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  12. Arlington Cemetery, we stop there on every visit to DC. Each year we walk the lines and stop and reflect and say a prayer ... it is an overwhelming sight, and cannot fail to touch your heart.
    Thinking of you, and all of those lost today xxx

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  13. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Thanks for honoring those who serve with your post today.

    My parents met overseas, both serving in WWII. My mom use to tell her nursing stories when we were kids. What I remembered most was how she talked about the men always drooling after them as in "South Pacific." But then there were the real nursing stories about the patients and their injuries; how young some where; the 15 year old who lied about his age to get…. She hadn't talk about them for many years and then started repeating them in PTSD form after 9/11.

    My dad had been pretty quiet about it. But when he was in his 80s, I'd go with him to church on Sunday and there was often a man with a marine jacket that sat a few rows up (in his last years my dad thought the back row was his pew ;-). He'd point at that jacket and get all choked up, tears welling in his eyes. Thinking of the bravery and courage of the marines who went in first.
    I only learned much later from other family who served, about the service (Navy) of my father. I'd never realized until I looked it up how dangerous his missions had been.

    I don't think I fully understood much (really) until I was older and had family and friends die (not in service).

    If I wasn't so far away I'd go and put a flag on both their graves. I'll just have to salute their photos. Thanks mom and dad, and to yours too Suzy!

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  14. I had no idea about this. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. My Father and my mother are both interred at Arlington. They do so much to try to keep that attitude of respect and dignity. It is a powerful, powerful place. The volunteers who work there are also a dedicated group of people, many of them widows or widowers of those buried there.

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  16. "They" being those who work or volunteer at Arlington.

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  17. OH man...that made me tear up. What an honor for those soldiers to have the opportunity to honor men like your father.

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