Merry Christmas Herby and Brave Warriors. This year’s wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery, as was the past three years I’ve attended, overwhelming. The beauty, the sorrow, the love, the connecting, the laughter, and oh, yes, the tears. The tears of joy and sorrow, the tears of loss and the tears of hope, and the tears of love and happiness. How can so many emotions come together? Well, they just do when you attend this event.
I have attended the Wreaths Across America wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery ever since my brother’s remains were identified and buried there. Capt. Herbert C. Crosby (my borther) was MIA Vietnam for 37 years. We buried those remains, a tooth, in May 2007, at Arlington National Cemetery. Full military honors it was and a day that I’ll never forget.
Each December since then I have been a volunteer for Wreaths Across America organization laying wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes buried in Arlington National Cemetery. It’s not only Arlington that wreaths are now laid, but in veteran’s cemeteries across this great country and at U.S. cemeteries across the world. Last year a total of 161,000 thousand wreaths were laid across this great planet Earth. All in honor and rememberance of our fallen heroes of our Armed Forces.
If you have never been to Arlington National Cemetery, I highly recommend you go. It can be any time of the year, doesn’t matter when as you will walk away with a heart touched beyond words.
This year, I didn’t see my friends I’ve met from the past three years. They may have been there, but we just didn’t see each other as the crowd was large, very large. I arrived just as the opening ceremony was coming to an end and the wreaths were starting to be past out (Metro delays in DC).
I got my wreaths, one for my brother and one for a friend. When I reached my brother’s grave in Section 60, I found that his had not yet had a wreath placed on it as people were just starting to place the wreaths. I laid my wreath against the headstone and sat down to visit and meditate for a while. Of course, weak emotional me, I did cry. It seems to be something I have a hard time stopping when I’m there. I do miss him, and I don’t know if “closure” ever really comes. It still hurts and I still feel the loss.
I took the other wreath and headed up Porter Drive from Esienhower to find the grave of Danny Phillips. I couldn’t remember exactly where it was but asked above and directions were given. Daniel Phillips is still Missing in Action and no remains yet identified. This is his “In Memory” grave. His brother, a Vietnam veteran was unable to make the wreath laying this year, so I made sure that Danny had a wreath.
I went back to Herby’s grave to tell him all that had been going on this year with the family. It was a great time, a special time. There were families doing the same thing I was all over Section 60 as this is where the latest graves of our soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan wars are being buried. It’s heart wrenching to experience their fresh loss.
My Wreaths Across America experience at Arlington is the most precious and most wonderful Christmas present I could give or receive. I took many photos and instead of posting them as photos I put them together this slideshow with music. Most all the photos you see with wreaths placed on the graves are of Section 60, where Herby is buried. There is also photos of the soldier’s grave who was buried Friday, December 10th, the day before we were there. You’ll know which one it is. Please say a short prayer for these fallen heroes’ families and all the families of all our fallen defenders. I hope you enjoy the short video.
Wreaths Across America, and I thank all veterans for your service and sacrifice.
We promise to REMEMBER the fallen.
HONOR those that serve and their families and
TEACH our children the value of freedom.
There are no words… except "beautiful".Thanks for being there and caring.Andrea
Thank you so much for posting the video. My Daddy is buried in Arlington and I live in Texas so could not be there to lay a wreath on his grave. I was hoping to find some photos of the wreaths in Arlington but found so much more with your beautiful video. I participated in the wreath laying at Houston National Cemetery and was so honored to be able to play a small part in this extraordinary effort. I hope that I was able to place a wreath upon the grave of someone who's loved one could not be there. I did take a number of photos, if you would like to see them you can go to the following link http://www.flickr.com/photos/photomajik/5253261962/