A Memorial Day I'll Never Forget

We exchanged pre-flight pleasantries as we settled into too-small seats situated too closely together. To smooth over the awkwardness of sharing each other’s personal space, my seatmate and I swapped details of our travel plans. 

She was flying through D.C. on the way to visit her aging parents, and my flight was ending in our nation's capitol. It was the beginning of a Memorial Day weekend with my daughter.

“What do you plan to do in D.C.?” she asked. “I lived there for four years.” 

I talked of museums and monuments, attractions and art. “And of course, on Memorial Day,” I concluded, “we’ll go to Arlington to pay our respects and say thank you.” 

Her countenance changed, and her eyes filled with tears. 

“They placed the flags on the graves on Friday,” she said softly. “I wish I could have been there. . . Every year volunteers bring long stemmed roses. They give you two--one to lay on a grave and the other to keep as a remembrance."

Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a notepad and began to write, jotting down information that was permanently fixed in her memory: 

Section 66 Grave 2528 
Col. David Frederick*

“If you go to Arlington on Monday,” she said, “this is where my husband is laid to rest.” 

“I would be honored,” I responded, receiving the precious information as a sacred trust. 

Carla, you may never read this, but I wanted you to know. I laid a rose on your husband’s grave, and I prayed a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving for you and those like you. 

Mission accomplished. 

*Out of respect for Carla's privacy, I've changed this information.

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  1. Touching! God placed you two together.

  2. Oh my goodness. I can see why you will never forget it. Thank you for your kindness.

    1. It was really an honor, and very emotional!

  3. It was very very cool, and made the whole experience SO meaningful for me. *sniff*