I'm not humbled by many things. As you age, you advance on the learning curve and many experiences start to fall under the 'been there, done that' banner. However, I must admit, to my surprise, I was humbled last week.
Arlington National Cemetery left me speechless.
A few extra days in Washington DC allowed me to play tourist. Going into Memorial Day weekend was a bonus. Mind you, this is not a celebratory event in our nations capital, but as told by numerous veterans, a day to remember those who gave their lives while serving our country.
So began my history lesson.
On my first day, I beat feet to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and of course the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.
I figured I'd save Arlington National Cemetery for the last day as I assumed the vast size would require more time.
Upon crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge, I quickly realized my planning was correct.
Upon turning left and passing through the main entrance gate, a number of things are instantly brought to your attention: The vast size of the cemetery. The deafening silence. The rolling knolls. The thousands-upon-thousands of white tombstones (I'm told 400,000 are buried here). The symmetry of every row. Kennedy's eternal flame. And of course, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It is a spectacular place.
While I've never served in the military, I have a tremendous appreciation for all the men & women who have served our great nation. Freedom comes at a price and I don't take any of my liberties for granted.