December 16, 2008 · Filed Under This & That 

It was amazing. hundreds of people and thousands of wreaths! the traffic was s-l-oooooo-w, and the DH finally agreed with me that we should have taken the Metro and SemperFiWife, who was also stuck in that long crawl, is on board with that too. We never did meet up!  {click on the title – picture will appear!}

We chose “our” headstones carefully – a Warrant officer for my husband, and a WW2 Coastie for my dad. The Holiday smell of pine, the definitely brisk wind “nipping at my nose” – and honouring those men and women, now THERE was a great start to our holiday. I cannot write about going to Section 60 yet, that is the area that our recent casualties are laid to rest in. There were families there, the graves were decorated – small tokens left with love. I overheard a mom asking someone from either the Cemetary or the Park Service about what happens to those, because they heard that they were being thrown away.  That is NOT true, they are being saved and catalogued, something like what is being done with the articles left at the Vietnam Wall.



3 Responses to “Arlington”

  1. Family from section 60 on December 17th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Curious to know where you heard that the items left at Arlington National Cemetery are retained?
    The media has covered what happens to these items, and cemetery staff are on record this year saying that they do not have the resources available to keep or catalog them.

    Unlike the Vietnam Wall, where the National Park Service collects and records the momentoes left by visitors, most of the tokens left at section 60 are not retained by the cemetery administration. Arlington National Cemetery is not administered by the National Park Service.

    Medals are collected by the cemetery historian, but their location is not recorded, so it’s not possible to know who the medal was left for. The families have requested that items be held so they can pick them up.

    Occasionally the administration will give the families a heads up before a major cleanup, and families will come and remove the items left themselves. Like many of the family members with loved ones buried at section 60, I would like to see these items cataloged and maintained, like those tokens left at the Vietnam Wall.

  2. LAW on December 17th, 2008 7:50 pm

    I overheard it- a conversation between a family and a young woman who was speaking as though she was a representative of the Cemetary. These NEED to be held/catalogued… who can we ask?


  3. Tammy Munson on December 19th, 2008 12:07 am


    I’m sad that I missed this! I would have joined you, Chief and SemperFi wife. I agree with all of you.. the metro would have probably been better. (that’s coming from someone who disliked greatly riding the Metro) : )

    So what do we need to do to have this cataloging/holding of items become a reality??

    Your friendly neighborhood TechMama,

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