arlington 3Recently, Steven and I took a trip to Washington, D. C. Number one on my list of things to do was to visit the Arlington National Cemetery. Steven found this amusing, that it was me that really wanted to have that experience more than him. I guess in some ways it is considering his military background.

But his amusement lead to a reflection on why it was so important to me.

I have been to Omaha Beach and seen the cemetery there {little fact about that land–it’s American soil; the French deeded it to the United States so our boys would be buried in home land–I think that’s outstanding.}  My experience at Omaha was inspiring. Walking towards the graves, people are chatting, but as you turn the corner and gaze across the thousands of markers, it goes quiet. It’s somber. It’s peaceful. It’s amazing.

 

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I think when I saw all of those crosses and stars I was humbled that so many people were willing to die for what they believed was the right way for the world to go. They knew it was crazy and that they lived in a crazy time, but they were willing to do it.

I guess I wanted to see if the same feeling would come over me at Arlington.

And it did.

All of those people fought for what they believed this country could be. When the rest of the world had no real understanding of what was being attempted over here, these people were willing to put it all on the line. I stood in the middle of a field that held our country’s hopes and dreams.

I think about my Opa and what he said about becoming an American citizen and why it impressed him. He told me that to be in a counfb_img_1474152209162.jpgtry where it didn’t matter what you came from, if you worked hard, you could be what you wanted was a novelty. That your circumstances didn’t have to define you. He told me that to be in a country where you didn’t have to agree with the government and didn’t have to be afraid to voice that disagreement was a novelty.

And that’s what Arlington meant to me. That there were people who believed so much in what my Opa was able to do when he came here, that they were willing to die for it so he could even attempt it, though the rest of the world thought they were crazy. . .

that’s hope.

 

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