Despite rain and tornado warnings, volunteers braved the elements to honor our fallen warriors on Monday at Arlington. Almost 400 people, with 48 of their children, worked to beautify the grounds of the cemetery. They spent some time getting their hands dirty and giving back to our fallen veterans.
The cleanup consisted of people from various landscaping companies. They came from 29 states across our nation. The Marine Corps Times website reports that, the adults pruned put braces on trees, aerated soil and put down lime. The children got to plant lovely flowers for visitors to admire while they visit a loved one’s grave site.
The children even got a little bit of an education about some caterpillars and other insects that were found on the grounds. A local horticulturalist was there to offer his expertise on the bugs that were found.
While this was going on parents took the time to explain the significance of the cemetery to their children. Heather Huddleston, who traveled from Windermere, Fla., said while pointing at one of the markers to her son Carter, 8, “you can see where they were from.” She also said,
Look at all the gravestones. You can see all the different people who are here because they were in the military.
The report says this is Huddleston’s fifth year of coming to Arlington to help beautify the grounds. She says she enjoys it because it helps her feel that we are growing together. Each year she comes to Arlington it is a chance to see how the plants they planted are growing.
It’s said that Shelby Wanzor, 10, of Atlanta, and Abby Bradley, 11, of Falmouth, Mass., had written winning essays that earned them a chance to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Abby was inspired by her grandfather who was a late World War II Marine veteran.
She said that he would be excited by what she is doing for our country. The Marine Corps Times report also says the lime spread on the grounds was donated by Imerys a mineral production company.
Michelle Mercurio flew in from Jacksonville, Fla., and had this to say about the clean up, “It’s a small token of appreciation, it’s something small that we can do to give back to all of those people and their families who have given the greatest sacrifice, the greatest loss.”
It’s always nice to hear of people giving honor and tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom of others. These people should be commended because what they did on Monday is more than a vast majority of folks do for our fallen warriors. There seems to be an ungrateful attitude that runs across our nation these days.
The younger generation feels that the older generation owes them. So it’s good to hear of people giving back to our nation. Maybe those who think our nation owe them something should spend a day at their local cemetery beautifying the grounds to respect those who have given them the freedom to think they are entitled.
The Marine Corps Examiner would like to say thanks for the time these volunteers spent at Arlington. The work they did was definitely a sign of respect for our fallen heroes.