“SECTION 60 of Arlington National Cemetery has taken on special meaning over the last decade as the final resting place of America’s fallen from Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“……………………..Though Arlington is universally known, one portion of it is familiar only to a tiny but special portion of the American people”.
“Section 60 is where many casualties of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are buried. Solemn ceremonies have been held there since 2001, little noticed by the public but sometimes covered by the national news media.”
America’s wars in those countries have largely ended, but the grief endured by the families of the dead never will. They suffer largely alone and in silence.”
It is time that their suffering is shared by the nation as a whole; that we take stock of the sacrifices made by this valiant few. For it is likely that after this Memorial Day, their service will be mostly forgotten by a nation preoccupied by the mundane.”
(This is the beginning of an article by the Commander-in Chief of the VFW from the May 2015 VFW magazine.) He goes on to say…………………….:
“So let me answer the question posed about a child and parental pride. The answer is easy: NO PARENT COULD BE MORE PROUD THAN ONE WHO HAS A SON OR DAUGHTER (OR GRANDSON OR GRANDDAUGHTER) WHO KNOWINGLY TAKES THE RISKS OF SERVING IN WARTIME. This has been occurring for the last 14 years, yet national media commentators rarely single out individuals in the armed forces as representing what is ‘best about America'”.
“But as VFW members, we know that the 4,474 uniformed Americans who died in Iraq and the 2,352 who lost their lives in Afghanistan EXEMPLIFY ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THE AMERICAN CHARACTER. They and those who fought beside them rose to the occasion when few in their generation chose to do so. They stand out as the best the nation has to offer.”
“More than 900 of them lie in Section 60 and the remainder in cemeteries nationwide; TAKE THE TIME THIS MEMORIAL DAY TO REMEMBER THEM.”