Highway funeral

I normally drive like a bat out of hell to work, with rare exception.

During a short stretch of highway, however, I took exception today.

On the road that connects 395 to the GW Parkway, I have the Pentagon on my right and Arlington Cemetery on my left.

I always look at both. I always drop down onto the parkway and admire the monuments on the other side of the Potomac, so realize that I love that part of my drive.

Today, though, as I looked upon the thousands upon thousands of white headstones in the cemetery, I saw a regular sight, but one that made me pause nonetheless. I saw a funeral in progress — a small one, with maybe seven or eight family members dressed in black.

And although all I had was a momentary glimpse, they all seemed relatively young — 20s, 30s, 40s. I’d like to think they were burying someone who’d come back from another war and who’d gone on to live a long and fulfilling life — not someone who met his or her fate in this “war that never ends” in Iraq.

The snow from the weekend has melted under 50-degree-plus sunlight. It almost seems unfair that the sun should shine on such a tragic day for the people who loved the person they were returning to the earth. But then again, perhaps the light and warmth is the one shred to which we cling that the world will still turn even though that person is gone.

I said a few words in my mind for the soldier and his or her family. And I thought about my grandfather’s mother — four of her boys went off to World War II at the same time, and for that she was known as a “four-star mother.” In my mind, I think “saint” would be a more fitting term — I don’t know if I’d be more scared fighting a war in some foreign, hostile country or whether I were waiting to hear news (of any kind) about someone I loved who was.

I know wars are necessary and they’ve enabled the liberations of many nations, including my own. But Mr. President, it’s time to make the war that’s in progress end. Haven’t we lost enough of our own already? How much more can the people of this country take?

One Lonely Response to Highway funeral

  1. Chuck :

    Hey, welcome back and congrats on those Steelers. It was a great game. My boss is from Pittsburgh, so we had a pre SB party in the office on Friday.