Air Force Wife wrote an amazing, brutally honest post yesterday that summed up how I feel about what has been happening at Arlington too. I don't think I could add anything to what she said except cuss words, so I won't.
While this nightmare unfolds, I go back in my head to the last time I was at Arlington. My husband and I participated in the Christmas wreath laying a couple of years ago. I feel bad that I haven't been back since then but life has really intervened. I hope to get back there this summer and pay my overdue respects.
On that cold December day, I remember so many things.
I remember the sheer crush of humanity wanting to lay wreaths on the tombs at Arlington. I remember how breathtakingly cold it was that day. I remember how beautiful Arlington was. It always is.
Mostly, I remember the people.
I remember the mom who lugged a lawn chair and several bags from Michael's to her son's grave. She hada sad kind of smile on her face as she set out the chair in front of his tombstone. She worked quietly and deliberately on a wreath of her own making for his grave.
I remember walking over to section 60 and the young woman who walked just in front of us. She stopped short of the section, as if she needed to catch her breath. We walked past her and I looked back to see her face covered in tears. Perhaps it was her first time visitng the grave of a loved one lost. I don't know. I just know that she was hurting.
I remember visiting the grave of a friend's son and coming upon someone already there paying their respects. I had intruded on a private moment and I backed away as quickly as I could. The grave had a beautiful nativity scene on it. His mom's work, I am sure.
These are the people I think of as the disgrace unfolds. These people have had something stolen from them. Certainly that their loved one is in that plot of ground and has been taken from them, and what it will take to reassure them that everything is as it should be can not be a comfort for them to contemplate, either.
The heart just breaks.