Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Arlington musings

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Gate to the Cemetery and the Robert E Lee house up on the hill.

Gate to the Cemetery and the Robert E Lee house up on the hill.


We meant to spend part of the day at Arlington Cemetery and the rest of the day at the Air and Space Museum. After all, it wasn’t our first trip out to Arlington, and we’ve been to the National Cemetery in Michigan a few times as well.

Turns out we underestimated our time wandering the cemetery grounds.

We spent nearly the entire day exploring, searching for particular grave sites, contemplating, watching. Listening. Listening to taps being played at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, listening to a marching band playing military music off in the distance during the changing of the guard…

Changing the honor guard.

Changing the honor guard.

…listening to a mocking bird singing high over the endless rows of white marble markers.

Probably not a mockingbird, but he was pretty.

Probably not a mockingbird, but he was pretty.

And toward the end of our visit just when I was commenting about how peacefully quiet it was, how beautiful this particular tree was…

Pretty shade.

Pretty shade.

…a military flyover came roaring up from the Potomac, right overhead, shattering the peace, but raising the awesome level of our total experience.

We saw Senator Frank Lautenberg’s grave site. He was always so supportive of our safety efforts. We miss him – he was a good man. His stone should have proclaimed his work toward saving people’s lives on our roads.

It doesn’t, but we know.

You did good work Senator.

You did good work Senator.

But the stone that touched me the most was that of Medgar Evers. A simple white stone, like hundreds of thousands of others, set down over a hill below President Taft, it was evident that several people had come to visit and pay their respects.

Remembering Medgar Evers.

Remembering Medgar Evers.

He did good work too.

Wandering in Arlington was beautiful, but oh so sad. Because we had to acknowledge that every one of the thousands of headstones represented a person, someone’s child. They all belonged to someone.

Each one an individual.

Each one an individual.

And now they all belong to us.

Sobering.

On the back of the stone for Oliver Wendell Lewis, a Major General who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam but was only 71 when he died, was this quote:

Good advice.

Good advice.

I like to think that those of us working for truck safety are doing just that – walking in the world for our loved ones. I think the General has it exactly right.

I wish everyone had the opportunity to visit this cemetery, to experience the solemnity, the sense of awe, the feeling of pride. I have to think the country would be in better shape if everyone spent a day exploring this special place.

There’s sadness here, but there’s peace and hope too.

Visit if you can.

Always vigilant.

Always vigilant.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

10 thoughts on “Arlington musings

  1. It’s a site to see. Mom visited there too
    Love & Peas,
    Lily & Edward

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  2. We have been doing Daves family tree and were surprised to see his family traces back to the first settlers and that there are so many military and senators in his family. The city of Bern in Pennsylvania was names after one his ancestors and he has a number of civil war generals in his past. History is so important but sad to see so few care about much anymore and sadder still that we never seem to learn from it.

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    • We are hearing lots about the civil war while we’re here. So much history in Virginia. It’s a big part of the land here, and there are all sorts of places to visit and learn more.

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  3. I’ve not been to Arlington, but your photos bring it closer. Something about a cemetery that’s peaceful and inspires much reflection. Instead of taking field trips to the local park (where kids have been time and again), perhaps sometimes they need to visit a cemetery.

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  4. Beautiful post, glad I took time to read. My family and I visited DC a year ago and didn’t make it to Arlington. I’ve been once. Your post made me realize I need to return for a visit. Have a wonderful day and week ahead. Peace and don’t lose sight of what you are working for.

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    • Glad you stopped by too! 🙂 I highly recommend a visit to Arlington. We get to DC pretty frequently these days, but hadn’t been out to Arlington for about 6 or 7 years now. It was good to be back there.

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  5. What an epitaph.
    That settles it, we need to start a travel fund to keep you on the road so we can discover sights with you from the comfort of our armchairs!

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