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What’s the big deal?
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the controversy caused by our President’s decision not to attend the Memorial Day Service today. One refrain I’ve been hearing from non-military people is the question above. I’d like to try to explain why it is such a big deal!
Arlington is not the only national cemetery, but it is by far the most well known and for good reason. Everyone has heard of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which contains the remains of several unknown soldiers from various wars. It is guarded constantly by The Old Guard. During special occasions, such as the Memorial Day Ceremony, Honor Guards from each branch of the military are present to show their respect and honor for their fellow fallen comrades. My husband gave two years of his military career without being able to advance in order to participate in the Coast Guard Honor Guard and honor his fallen Coasties and all the other men and women who have sacrificed their lives. When foreign dignitaries visit our country one of the most respectful things they can do is visit the tomb and place a wreath. My husband was present for many such ceremonies and stood still as a statue for hours on end in order to show our military’s discipline and strength. He is in the group to the far left below.
My husband also took part in many funerals during his time in the Honor Guard. You can ask any one who has participated in an Arlington funeral about what a solemn, moving, deeply meaningful experience it is. Anyone who has given their life for our country deserves the greatest and utmost respect and that is exactly what they are given at Arlington. Below you can see my husband in the front center helping to bury a fellow Coastie.
There are over 300,000 grave sites in Arlington. On Memorial Day the Old Guard places a flag before each and every grave with a salute. How long do you think that takes them?!?!
What I’m trying to say is that Arlington, and the Memorial Day Service at Arlington, are HUGE deals. It really, really saddens and disappoints me that so many people, including the leader of our country, fail to realize this and would rather spend the day enjoying their time off and relaxing in whatever way is most convenient and comfortable for themselves.
Please, take a few minutes today to thank a veteran/coastie/marine/solider/airman/salior for their service and sacrifices for our dear country. Take a few minutes to pray for those who are currently serving overseas and their families left behind.
Please make today be a big deal to you!