Unwreathing a Beautiful Sunday

in PowerHouseCreatives3 months ago (edited)


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Arlington National Cemetery for Wreath Retrieval/Clean-Up Day!

I live close enough to Arlington National Cemetery to make a visit whenever I feel the urge to do so. So given the fact that my loyalties lay at the feet of my country, this alone pushes me a little harder to do what I can, when I can. I feel a strong sense of warmth to honor those that willingly sacrificed for the sake of our nation or helping another protect their own. Without getting political about it all, I take great pride in honoring these men and women, although I can never truly repay their love.

In all, 245,000 wreaths were laid at each veterans grave in December, at Arlington National Cemetery. What does down, must come up and Saturday was the annual wreath retrieval/clean up day.

Hail the Day!!


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Wreaths Across America sponsors this annual event, beginning to end, placement and removal of the wreaths. It is such a touching way to remember U.S. veterans. And of course, in another way, it has always taught me that freedom isn't free.

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I have no idea what moves me, but, I am always reading the graves stones, wondering about these people and who they are, where they came from and what they were like. Djibouti, Africa. Some people do not even know where that is. I only remember it when it was going on... before that, I took my map out and circled the globe in search of it. So far away from home. Rest in peace, my friends. Rest in peace. There are so many other little pieces of family here, and sometimes not family at all. A comrade, a caring soul wandering among the graves, waiting to be touched by one. Yes. People really do that.


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Today is brought to you by #BeautifulSunday by @Ace108 where you show off how you spend your day and also #SublimeSunday by @c0ff33a where any random post will do. You know I have to have my coffee, every day. No bartering or begging, please. Just serve it on up!

Cast your shadow and keep company with the shine of the day.


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This one caught my eye almost immediately and still has me coming back. His family knew it was in his heart. Deeply embedded. I have to admire someone that has that kind of dedication, not only to this but, for anything in life. To love life and people that deeply to dedicate it to others.

Pararescue Creed

“It is my duty as a Pararescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things we (I) do, that others may live.”


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source

Not my photo. I actually don't bring a camera or phone as it is too much trouble and I am there to do a job. No pockets and the weather was warm yesterday, so not even a jacket. I took some two days before and then again today after it was done

The gates opened up at 8 am and you always try to get there early. There are literally thousands of people behind you. What does that say about people? I have to admit, these are the times when my faith in human beings is restored. Volunteer somewhere, anywhere. You will meet the most amazing people who have much to give. Of course, where ever I go, whatever I do, I seem to meet the most incredible people.




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And, of course, we must have a flower, always...to color my world. I dedicate this picture to #SundayPurple for the #ColorChallenge by @Kalemandra. Nobody colors like she does.


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They have rules in place so that the only wreaths that are picked up are the ones from Wreaths Across America. All the other wreaths, flowers and decorations stay behind. Some decorate the trees, some leave teddy bears and other expressions of their love. How can you not let the love flow? When gathered, you put them in the dumpsters that are all over the cemetery. If that is full, resist the urge to stomp them down, that is certainly verboten. You have to walk further down the road and find another one, that hopefully is not full. There were plenty of them.

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Of course, how can I not connect with this? I now have a face to the name, and they made a special vase to hold flowers, with his picture on it, flowers all over and just with these small bits, I feel like I know him just a little. "Buck" was definitely a guy who was fun and love. I can feel it.


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I cannot seem to go to Arlington without giving the audience to at least one changing of the guard.


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The changing of the guard ceremony is like that, a precise, stop-start ballet performed by three men — commander, relief sentinel, and the retiring sentinel— alternating between smooth and sharp, silence and staccato pops. ... Inspection completed, the ceremony is all about walking and stillness. source


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I must say that I feel good, and my heart is always a little lighter when I am able to do something positive in life. I want to thank you for coming along with me and of course, we'll see you next year!

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And just like that, this post is done. I want to thank @ace108 and @c0ff33a for hosting these challenges and even though the day is done, I can guarantee that there is still a little sunshine left in my heart. Have a most fabulous evening!



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Thank you for visiting my post 💖 Because of you, I come back to post, again and again, where the conversation becomes deeper, creating a circle of intimacy. You, me, and the world around us. We share our friendship, companions of the surrounding love. I raise my glass to you, my friends. For you are what makes me come back to this place and share in your writings, your pictures, your life. Kindness counts. Wherever you go, whatever you do.


they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered,
"where does it hurt?"
it answered,

"everywhere"
"everywhere"
"everywhere"

warsan shire



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Denise, a wonderful post in memorial of those who sacrificed so much for the freedom of the country. The gravestones tell a story and one cannot help but be moved by the death of a young person who had many dreams of the future.

My father served with the Canadian Army and had cousins killed overseas in WW11. I often think of them and how much be have to be thankful. 🙏 💕

 3 months ago 

Isn't that the truth. Many foreign people cannot fathom the sense of pride and love I have for Arlington and well, to be honest, it is not over the top. Most around here feel the same. We never have trouble getting volunteers for anything, thankfully.

I too, have family buried in there, but, my love for it was well before that. Thank you for stopping by and saying hello, leaving those kind and gentle words behind.

God Bless You, my Friend.

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 3 months ago 

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 3 months ago 

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 3 months ago 

Thanks @pixresteemer! for the beer!

Impressive! The cult of the Americans for their army, for those who give their lives to defend something. I think it's at the highest level in the world.
That huge expanse of white crosses shows both the size of the sacrifice and the size of the army. The fact that you respect so much, that you deal with the care of the cemetery, seems to be something unique that little ones may not be able to understand.

 3 months ago 

Well, perhaps cult is not the word I would use, although, as English is not your first language, I can see why you chose that. Usually, a cult is associated with a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.

The military is both loved and hated here. I admire people who willingly volunteer to go to the aid of another country in need. (Not by force, that is just repugnant) Although that is not always the case. The graveyard is a National Cemetery for all that have died that were in the military (or retired from there) and I think there is 254,000 graves, since the Civil War. That is not many in my opinion, given how big our country is. The respect comes because they earned it, protecting me many times without me even knowing, and giving me comfort, knowing they are there.

Are they all good and above reproach. Of course not. They are human too. But, how can I not admire and lay a wreath on the graves of someone's 25-year-old boy? Someone who was just a young man with pimples on his face a few years ago. It could be my son, or brother or uncle.

And by the way, my father is buried there, so I will always help out there and make it my business to pay tribute to them.

We do love our guys in uniform. They mean freedom to us. Thanks for stopping by!! I always love our banter!

Have a great week!

!tip

In the Romanian language, "cult" means admiration, it is true that it is exaggerated and not always justified.
It is true that the army is admired and hated ... nothing is perfect. I remember the movies: Hair; MASH; Catch 22 where the army is not seen with much admiration ... Apocalypse Now. I also saw heroic films about landing in Normandy or the war in Iraq.
I take them as testimonies of American artists.

I've long suspected you had someone buried in Arlington.
I'm afraid I misunderstand this sentence: always love our banter!
that's why you may want to explain it to me in another form.
Thank you very much!

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'honour' instead of cult would be more correct word, right?

Thank you for help! Agree with you.

my pleasure. I am not a native speaker, too; very sensitive to this kind of knowledge :P

 3 months ago 

Here is my proof of posting to Twitter:

https://twitter.com/dswigle/status/1216490650507665411

#oc #posh

It's kind of different with the phone here. Many of us cannot leave home without it. It's not American Express but I can use it for public transport, credit card payments and withdrawal money from ATM if I need to.
Almost miss this post. Seems like after the 5th tag, it doesn't get into
https://steemit.com/created/beautifulsunday

 3 months ago 

Well, it is no different here, however, while I am there paying respect, I find it disrespectful to have a face in the phone. So, I went back after it was done to snap a few shots. I also went to get my regular camera. People here cannot leave home without it here either.

In fact, I never do. I holds my Metro pass, VRE (Virginia Light Rail) and Uber as well. As far as the ATM and paying credit card, I would rather do it on the computer as opposed to my phone. Although in saying that, I do pay for things by credit card on there, but, I get your point.

Oh, sorry! I might as well only do 5 tags then. They have made it so difficult! :(

Thanks for stopping by Ace!! @ace108 It was, indeed a #beautifulsunday!

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How heartfelt to read your post and see your beautiful photos. So many who have lost their lives for their countries, so sad. I am so impressed with Arlington National Cemetery. Blessings to you for doing what you do @dswigle🙏

 3 months ago 

Oh, thank you so much! Honestly, you are so sweet and it is comments like this that make my heart grow. I, too am impressed with Arlington National Cemetery and I do love strolling among the beauty of it as we lay to rest our heroes.

May they rest in peace.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your words.

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Thank you Denise for doing so much for those at Arlington. It is good to know there at least some that still respect the brave men and women that perished so that we might be free.

 3 months ago 

If you could see the thousands, yes! Literally, thousands of people that put everything aside to be a part of honoring these brave men and women, it would make you weep. The sheer number alone says that they are so loved.

The honor and respect used as the placement and unwreathing are done are heartwarming. Each person, saying the recipients' name aloud and a prayer if moved to. Most are moved.

I know I make a big deal of Arlington and I am sure people have had quite enough, but, for one reason or other, the place moves me, as no other cemetery has. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such kind and thoughtful words behind.

Have a great week ahead!

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I am not often short on words, but this was such a heartfelt and ytouching post to read I am now short on words so will just bow my head in respect and offer a minute of silence to all those buried there and the respect you showed to them in this post

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 3 months ago 

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 3 months ago 

I thank you so much for that, JJ @tattoodjay! Your warm words are like a soothing balm to my soul. There is no two ways about it. I love that place and all it stands for - the respect comes naturally and I will never apologize for it.

I think the real hardship was a few years ago, there used to be protesters that rioted at the funerals as they were going on. All the grieving family and friends had to put up with them blocking their way and interrupting probably the saddest day of their lives. They deterred that behavior, but, I still have memories of how awful people can be.

Thank you, truly.

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Firstly you should never apologize!!!!

I can understand why you love it there and how upsetting those protests were I remember reading about them and I found it disgusting

Have a great day

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 3 months ago 

Thank you for the resteem @pixresteemer! Much appreciated!

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Buen dia,feliz inicio de semana amiga,caramba que conmemorativas fotos,Honor a quien honor merece,y si en el cementerio a veces tenemos seres muy queridos o apreciados,hay que visitar de vez en cuando,saludos y muy bueno su trabajo,me enseña mucho

 3 months ago 

Hola desde aqui. Gracias y si! Fue un día para deshacerse de las coronas de flores cuando la Navidad terminó. Fue agradable verlos adornar un poco las tumbas y espero que haya hecho que las familias sientan que alguien se preocupa por ellos. ¡Que tengas una buena semana!

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Buen dia,feliz inicio de semana amiga,caramba que conmemorativas fotos,Honor a quien honor merece,y si en el cementerio a veces tenemos seres muy queridos o apreciados,hay que visitar de vez en cuando,saludos y muy bueno su trabajo,me enseña mucho

 3 months ago 

Double post!

Thanks a lot for sharing this with us. That has to be a very solemn place to be. I am glad that people take the time to do that. I am so far away but still want to go there some day.

 3 months ago 

It is a nice place to visit and when you first see it, you can hardly contain your awe. I promise you. The Washington, DC area is a wonderful place to take a vacation as there is literally too much to do. The Capitol Building, Library of Congress all the Smithsonian's and The Mint. Oh, the money flows!

I hope you make the time someday. I think everyone should. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your words!

Have a great week!

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Nice photos of respectable place and your thinking also.

 3 months ago 

Thank you so much and I appreciate your warm words. I hope you have a most wonderful night!

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So great of you to volunteer at the cemetery Lady Denise.
This is a heart rending post as so many lives were lost. I think about the grief of the parents here and every stone does indeed tell a story.
Volunteers are special people and we admire your heart to help out here.
Blessings!

 3 months ago 

I cannot tell you how much that cemetery means to me. Well, not me personally, but, I too think of all the love and loss contained inside those walls and it makes one want to weep. There is just so much going on if you walk around enough and pay attention.

I like to glimpse into the person that was and what I always see is someone who was loved so much. So, so much. That is a big heartbreaker. But, frequently, it is not only our borders being protected but foreign nations that have asked for help. How can you say no?

I just want to thank you for the kind and thoughtful words you leave me - always and I appreciate them more than you will know. I wish you a wonderful week ahead!

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I feel your compassion my friend.
So many human histories lying there and to think that once they were all children in happy innocence.
Life deals its cards and all of us that are alive today are partakers of the fruits of their bravery. In less that 100 years everybody that we know will no longer be here. For many of us in less than 50 years.
It is what we do now that counts.
Thank you for the tip and may you also have a blessed week and life my friend.

 3 months ago 

I am almost unable to think of it in those terms, but, of course, you are right!

Thank you so much and I appreciate all of your kind words and thoughts.

!tip

Only a pleasure to communicate with you.
NOT for the tips, but you always have interesting comments and posts of course.
Blessings!

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What a wonderful memoriam to all those whose gravesites you graced. Thank you.

 3 months ago 

Thank you for such warm words. I cannot tell you how much it means to have people thanking me for honoring those we love, our heroes. And while I am not a warmonger, I am very proud of these men and women and try to honor them whenever I can.

Thank you again! I hope you have a great week!

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You're very welcome. And, I feel the same. Thanks for the tip.

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So many unnecessary waste of lives things that could have been avoid or negotiated ...RIP ❤️

 3 months ago 

You surely said a mouthful xoxo

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Only if all these high notch know-all would apply it , it would save time and lives...lol 😡

 3 months ago 

I have always loved the man that said, If wars were fought with the leaders in the front of the line, there would be none. I have to wonder how true that is.

I think if good leaders could solve the problems at a round table meeting there would be no need for them to be at a front line of a war.

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Thank you @dswigle much appreciated 😊

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 3 months ago 

Thanks for the TRDO!

read with attention, intresting post. (I visited this location, once.... in the post-apocalypse videogame). glad to read your faith in humanity is restored. mmm, perhaps it is yourself the measure of this thing.