This afternoon, my daughter and I visited the local Veteran’s cemetery. I started a tradition three years ago, where we go and place a penny on the tombstones and thank the service member for his/her service.
It was nice to see quite a few people at the cemetery today. It was sad that hardly anyone was leaving coins this year. There were quite a few last year.
My daughter is in charge of selecting the graves. I read the name, rank, branch and any war listed. She then will thank them.
This year we found two from the Gulf War and Iraq. I do ok with Korea, WW I and WW II. The newer wars always stop me in my tracks.
This year, there was a soldier who was born in 1988. He was just a few years older than my son (who is currently serving). I always need to pause at these graves. On the other hand, we did “meet” a Chief, Colonel and a Lt. Colonel.
We did have one elderly man stand a few feet away and watch us. I looked back and he was nodding his head, ever so slightly, in approval.
I continued to observe this man, as he searched the headstones with a purpose. When he found the one he was looking for, he got down on one knee, placed his hand on the tombstone, and bowed his head. Then I saw him last down next to the grave. I am not sure who was buried there, but he obviously meant a lot to that man.
We finished up our visit, reaching 75 graves, instead of our usual 50. Another year to reflect on the cost of freedom.