It's really hard to believe it's been 7 months since I wrote here. What a waste! When I lost all of my pictures from Azaria's birth and first two weeks of life I lost all of my motivation to write here too. I'll try to go back and catch up as I can.
A few weeks ago my brother called and asked if I wanted to help lay wreaths in Arlington Cemetery Of course I said yes! That's just the kind of thing my patriotic heart enjoys. There's an organization called Wreaths Across America that puts wreaths on graves across all fifty states, but the most well known location is at Arlington. I encourage you to go to their website and read their story, it's very interesting. Ultimately their goal is to remember and honor our veterans. Unfortunately we got to the cemetery a little late for the welcome ceremony so we just went and found a truck.
The grave of a Wilkins. Who knows if we're related, but it's the first one Jeremiah has seen and he works there most days. The smaller pictures to the right are all of volunteers unloading the truck we were at and laying wreaths.
The Freedom Guard have been escorting the wreaths to Arlington since at least 2006, and they do a lot of other great work as well. Jeremiah and Shane photobombed my Freedom Riders pictures!
We had to wait for about half an hour before the truck opened. It was neat to people watch while we waited. There was a large group of German soldiers, and I heard French and Spanish as well.
Shane just loves his Uncle Jer! We each got one wreath to lay as there were a large number of volunteers and a limited number of wreaths. I think people in other sections got to lay more but we were in a pretty crowded section.
We let Shane lay all of the wreaths since I want the kids to really learn to honor and respect our history and our vets. Jeremiah helped him lay the wreaths and then he told Shane about the person buried there, where they were from and where they fought if the stone said. I'm not sure why but I thought it was sweet that with each stone as we walked away Shane would touch it with just one finger.
Once we laid our wreaths we walked around for a little while. My brother is great to sight see with since he is there most days (he is in the USAF Honor Guard) and he knows a lot of DC history.
While we were walking around we saw the stone of a two day old baby, the youngest Miah has seen yet. He said when they are standing in formation for long times one of the things they do to keep their minds busy is find the oldest and youngest people they can see, as well as who fought in the most wars or conflicts. The baby's stone was in section one, the first section in Arlington. She was the youngest he's seen. Pictured above you can also see the original chapel and amphitheater. In the bottom left picture you can see the Pentagon, and in the one to the right of it you can see the Memorial Bridge and Kennedy's grave. As my brother told it to me, the story of Kennedy's grave is this: One day President Kennedy was getting a tour of Arlington from a college student. As they stood on the lawn of Arlington House and looked across the Memorial Bridge, that link between the North and South, the President said he wanted to be buried there. Since they couldn't bury him on the lawn, they buried him down the hill.
Arlington House also has an interesting history, but I'm out of time to write so you can just click on the link and read about it. The tree trunk on the right illustrates the history of the house by the rings on the tree--it was planted when the house was built.