May 29, 2006
Jacqueline and I attended the Memorial Day ceremonies in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park this morning. Most of the speakers were from the World War II generation, and most but not all of the folks in the audience were senior citizens. There was music, prayer, a rifle squad, and a presentation of flowered wreaths by the VFW, American Legion, and their auxiliary units. Such gestures are at once emotional and terribly inadequate. We each try to do what we can to make sure that the agonizing deaths of servicemen and women in past wars, and in the present war, will not be forgotten.
Afterwards, we paid our respects at the Staunton National Cemetary, which was established just after the Civil War. I was astonished to learn that a large majority of the tombstones from that era are inscribed "Unknown." It also includes the graves of 20th Century soldiers, even some as recent as 20 or so years ago, but it seems to be full. The cemetary is well maintained by the Federal government, and located in a prominent place along Route 250, but it is oddly overlooked by most people. I don't recall seeing any visitors there before.
Today's Washington Post had the latest installment of the "Faces of the Fallen."
Chris Green is hosting this week's Virginia blog carnival, and he has compiled a variety of blog posts related to Memorial Day at Spank That Donkey.
In response to the surge of al Qaeda terrorist actions, American commanders in Iraq have transfered the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division from Kuwait to al Anbar province, west of Baghdad. That leaves just a reinforced Marine battalion in the Kuwaiti reserve sector. See Washington Post.