Sunday, May 24, 2009

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Sometimes I meet people, and they complain about this country, and this and that and how it's so bad. I tell them, OK I'll be happy to drive you to the airport; go and see how it is somewhere else. Go to another country and feel what it's like to know that any policemen on the street could stop you and ask for your papers. And send you "home." I know how that feels; it's a very acute insecurity. But you'll never feel that way here. Every place has its problems....
This is Memorial Day Weekend, and we honor our soldiers, their service for this country, and tangentially, our freedoms. They never said this place is crappy and gave up; they fought for this country and what it stands for. This weekend, feel PROUD.
If you've never been to the Los Angeles National Cemetery, this is a great time to go. You drive by it on the 405 when you pass Wilshire. Every grave is marked with a small US Flag this weekend; it's hard to appreciate from these photos, but it goes on and on for acres and acres-- 115 to be exact; it's very touching, very impressive, to see. 85,000 servicemen and their dependents have been buried there, some with headstones and some with flat markers, since 1889, (the wives get a marker on the reverse of the gravestone, see photo). There are WWI, WWII, Spanish American War and Korean War vets there, and those are just the ones I saw; every branch of the Armed Forces are represented; there are also 2 service dogs buried with their handlers. Compare that with Arlington, on 600 acres and with 240,000 servicemen and dependents since 1864, including many Civil War veterans, JFK and numerous Supreme Court Justices. The site was originally the estate of Martha Washington's son. Also for comparison, the U.S. cemetery in Normandy; 172 acres (larger than LA) but with 9,387 buried there-- 1/9th the number buried in LA. By anyone's imagination, that is a lot of people buried, whether you are talking 9,000 or 85,000. It makes me feel very triste when I think about it. I have been to Normandy's beaches several times and you simply can't imagine....

Nothing I did today or this weekend or this year can compare. I had good sales, I got shorted of my delphiniums today and that made me really mad; I talked to lots of great people; I saw an oscar-winning actress. When I was on the way home, going by the VA, I gave a buck to the vet who was panhandling. Today they are all vets, I know; Homeless Vet signs work well today and we have no way to verify. He was really happy that tomorrow he would get treated to a BBQ at the VA-- Free! In Laguna, there was a guy also panhandling at the grocery store, and I asked him what he would do tomorrow; would he go to the Heisler Park pancake breakfast? That costs $5, he told me, which he did not have.
I bought a new flag this week; it had to be cotton, sewn with embroidered stars. I was happy to see all the flags today at LA National Cemetery, all cotton, embroidered stars. They also had a full set of flags from all 50 states.
Sign me, Proud to be an American.....

1 comment:

  1. When we lived in Europe every memorial day we would visit an American cemetary. Our favorite was located in St. Avold France.
    Here is the link: