Today I had the opportunity to once again visit Arlington National Cemetery. It seemed only fitting to visit here today as we have just celebrated Memorial Day this past weekend. Every Memorial day, nearly 200,000 flags are placed at the graves and removed before the cemetery opens the next morning.
Here in Virginia, the temperatures soared well into the mid nineties today but that didn't stop me from strolling through the cemetery for several hours. How appropriate to spend my memorial day holiday reflecting on the thousands of servicemen and women who are buried here. It was a beautiful day to put aside my regular responsibilities and truly take in the ultimate sacrifice that so many have given for our country.
As I approached the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we were told that we would be seeing a rare event. A Tunisian dignitary would be laying a wreath and there would be a grand event with music and a gun salute for the changing of the guard.
When I approached the newest sections of the cemetery where the soldiers who perished most recently in Operation Iraqi Freedom & Afghanistan, I was overwhelmed to read their stories and see personal mementos left by their families. Today was a day I will not soon forget.