I get it. Hanging out in a graveyard is creepy. And weird. Even my SIL said today, "What is it with you and graveyards? Do you just like hanging out there?"
Yep. I really do. It makes me very humbled to see the rows upon rows of patriots and their families who said that their life was worth laying down to protect us and what we believe in.
It gives LMC a chance to stretch her legs on this dreary, rainy day and I get to tell her things about those that came before her. Robert E. Lee's house, for example and what kind of gentleman he was. It's a 3-D history lesson of our patriotic past within four walls and surrounded by the many that risked their life.
Sometimes though, you see something like this:
And you ask the marine walking by who died.
And he will say Major McKinney.
Major McKinney, who enlisted in 1941, served 20 years for his nation and retired after earning the Silver Star in Italy and receiving both a Bronze Star & the Purple Heart. (thank you, Google)
I quietly followed the funeral around- from a distance- and was both in awe and admiration for this stranger and what he did.
Both awe and admiration for the marines and military who honored him in such a dignified and deserving way.
Awe and admiration for his family that sacrificed alongside him- not in the trenches, but at home- without him. Having spent my fifth Christmas without my husband, I get it. It's lonely.
I get it. I get why taps makes people cry and why rainy, dreary days are great for funerals. And sunny days. And cold days. I get why, even when you know death is coming to a loved one as a blessing, you still cry.
As I turned to leave, I realized that the casket was being drawn to Maj. McKinney's final resting place and the family was following under umbrellas and wearing black. Limousines were behind the family, slowing making their way among the twists and turns.
In the distance, away from the family, Marines waited for their part of the three-volley salute (Thank you, Wikipedia) for this 91 year old man.
So, I get it. I get why people get creeped out when I say I'm spending the morning at the graveyard, or that when I say I am visiting my "Great-grand-father's half brother, wife, and daughter" that they are surprised when the trio has been residing six feet under for the better part of 50 years. I get it. Be creeped out. It's okay. Because, this morning- LMC & I were surrounded by patriots and were safe. Probably one of the safest places one can be.
I get it. I just hope that one day, you will get it, too.