Eyes & whiskers Ready to roll!
C'mon and join Ping on his Adventure (whatever that may be!)
The entrance to Arlington National Cemetery is directly across the
Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial. These two historical,
mystical, sites are connected by the Memorial Bridge.
At the entrance to the Cemetery there is a sign which asks visitors to
keep in mind the true nature of this place:
Welcome to Arlington National Cemetery
America's most sacred shrine.
These are hallowed grounds.
There are rows and rows of American flags which had been placed in the
ground in front of each and every headstone. There are over a quarter
of a million heroes buried at Arlington.
Generals and privates. Admirals and seamen.
Each headstone gets its own flag.
Each flag, the same size.
Each life, the equal of every other.
Entering the Amphitheater small American flags
are being handed out by elderly vets and read the line from
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address inscribed above the stage:
"We, here, highly resolve that those dead shall not have died in
Arlington National Cemetery, on Memorial Day, has nothing to do with
the sweep and grandeur of history, nor the gigantic commitment of
resources to battles and wars; nor grand strategies and brilliant
It is a place where - and the day when - we remember the individual
men and women who were killed at Bull Run, and Belleau-Wood, at Iwo
Jima, on Omaha Beach, and in Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq
and all the other un-locatable places with unpronounceable names where
we have too often sent young men and women to fight and, too often, to
Arlington National Cemetery, on Memorial Day, has everything to do
with a single white headstone nestled in a neat row among all the
other white headstones next to it, in front of it, and behind it. Up
hills and down swales.
It stands, along with the others, in silent acceptance of a nation's