Posts Tagged With: Arlington National Cemetery

Why I See Arlington Through Different Eyes Now

Photo taken on my visit to Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“When we were visiting here all those years ago, we could never have dreamed we would one day be here for something like this.”

Yet here we were on the first Friday of September 2011 following behind the caisson of a young Army Captain killed in the line of duty. This special young man and dear friend to my daughter, also an Army Captain, had left a clear message that he had died doing what he loved to do. Indeed, what he felt called to do. Nevertheless, the bitterness of losing him tragically permeated our hearts and lives. Burying him in Arlington has forever changed these hallowed acres for me. Now more than ever, I understand

  • there’s an amazing life story that can never be adequately represented by a simple granite stone.
  • the ongoing sense of honor and comradeship encapsulated in a soldier’s final request to be forever laid to rest near others who have served, and perhaps paid the ultimate price for doing so.
  • the haunting collective and individual beauty encapsulated in the precise angles and lines of row upon row of white headstones.
  • the true sense of the cost of war.
  • the honor and gratitude due those resting within and those left standing afterwards.
On this Memorial Day, I hope you took time to reflect on those who have served our nation in the armed forces. And perhaps one of your 52 Dates with Yourself might be a visit to one of our national cemeteries. Consider taking some flowers with you to leave as a token of thanks for some of those resting there.
Ponder & Chat: For a complete list of U.S. National Cemeteries click here. What National Cemeteries have you visited? What stories did you discover on your visit?
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Categories: Date Ideas, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lockerbie Cairn

The Lockerbie Cairn – Arlington National Cemetery

Approximately eight miles southeast of Lockerbie, Scotland, lies the Corsehill Quarry of Annan, Scotland. On December 21, 1988, it was in the flight path of Pan Am Flight 103, which was destroyed by a terrorist bomb killing all 259 passengers and 11 citizens of the town of Lockerbie. Two-hundred and seventy souls lost in this attack on America.

Five years later, on December 21, 1993, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Arlington National Cemetery for a memorial that would honor the dead. The sandstone blocks for the memorial come from the Corsehill Quarry. They were a gift from the people of Scotland, financed entirely from private donations.

A cairn is a traditional Scottish stone memorial. The Lockerbie Cairn at Arlington is constructed of 270 sandstone blocks fitted together into a circular tower rising eleven feet in the air. It consists of one stone for each person lost in the terrorist attack including 11 Lockerbie citizens killed as fragments of the plane landed on their town. The 259 passengers on the flight included citizens from 22 different countries. Among the 189 Americans on board were 15 active duty military personnel and 10 military veterans. Thirty-five were students from Syracuse University who had been studying abroad.

The sandstone from the Corsehill Quarry was also used in the construction of the base of the Stature of Liberty.

“The Women of Lockerbie,” a 90-minute fictional play loosely based on the events surrounding the attack on Flight 103, is being presented by Fort Wayne’s all for One productions, incthis weekend. For times and ticket information, click here.

Ponder & Chat: How have memorials helped you deal with grief in your life?

Categories: Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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