Sacrifice is a hallmark of the service men and women of our country. The question in every heart as soldiers prepare to leave their families for deployment is whether they’ll come home safely, and in one piece. Tim McGraw’s song, “If You’re Reading This,” expresses the words of a soldier writing home who has been killed:
“If you’re reading this–
My mama’s sitting there–
Seems like I only got a one-way ticket over here.
I sure wish I could give you another kiss,
And war was just a game we played when we were kids…
If you’re reading this,
Halfway throughout the world,
I won’t attend to see the birth of our little girl.
I hope she resembles you.
I hope she fights like me.
She stands up for the innocent and the weak.
I’m putting down my gun,
I’m hangin’ up my boots,
Tell dad I don’t feel sorry that I followed in his shoes…
So lay me down–
In that open field out on the edge of town.
And know my soul is where my momma always prayed.
That it would go.
And if you’re reading this,
I’m actually home.”
When you read or listen to these words, it’s hard not to pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that many have died to protect the freedoms that we enjoy, leaving family and loved ones behind. Arlington National Cemetery is a place where those who have served our country can be buried, together with their families. This historic landmark is substantial for many reasons, including the following.
The cemetery is on the grounds that formerly came from General Robert E. Lee, from the Civil War, and the first burial occurred there in 1864.
There more than 400,000 graves in this cemetery, sprawling over 624 acres.
On Memorial Day, graves are furbished with small American flags placed in front of each headstone.
There are individuals buried there from every war that has transpired since America established its independence.
There are about 30 burials a day at the cemetery and one has to meet certain requirements for it to qualify to be buried there.
Presidents of the United States are immediately allowed to be interred there, should they choose, since they served for a while as the commander in chief of the army. Furthermore, John F. Kennedy’s grave is a highly visited site in the cemetery.
With so many buried there, the cemetery is separated into 70 sections to help people find their way around and locate the graves they are looking for.
Arlington National Cemetery’s grounds are dedicated to honoring those that have served our country. And while there are many American heroes buried there, we know that others who have given the same reparation are buried all over the country in the places that they called home. We respect the commitment to country that these men and women exhibit.
The facts here in this article about Arlington National Cemetery originate from these sources: