December 13, 2015

We Salute You

Marietta National Cemetery
I rarely watch the news anymore—too depressing, but I just happened to catch a segment before changing channels that caught my attention. They were at Marietta National Cemetery and wreaths were being placed in front of the headstones. This was part of a nationwide tradition: Wreaths Across America. Although 5,000 wreaths sounds like a lot, they explained that they didn't have the funds to have one for every one of the over 18,000 that are buried there.

I like the look of this cemetery because the headstones are all similar in size and shape and are laid out in rows. Most of the rows are straight, but some make concentric circles. And with the really large old trees, even in winter, it's rather pretty for a cemetery. I imagined that the wreaths would look nice in person, so I decided I would need to go and see this for myself.

Marietta National Cemetery
I checked my Sun Surveyor app to see where the sun would rise and set at this location. Since I've been to this cemetery before, I knew which direction I wanted to face for my photos. As a result, I decided that afternoon would be the best time. It wasn't the most beautiful sky, a bit overcast, but overall, not too bad. And enough wind to keep the flag extended—that is always a good thing.

Historically, it's an interesting cemetery. According to the National Cemetery Administration, it was "established in 1866 to provide a suitable resting place for the nearly 10,000 Union dead from Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Henry Cole, a local merchant who remained loyal to the Union throughout the war, offered land for a burial ground for both Union and Confederate dead. His hope was that by honoring those who had fallen together, others might learn to live in peace." Very interesting, beautiful sentiment, don't you think?

There's a book in a wooden box at the front of the cemetery where you can look to see who is buried there. I checked one time and didn't see any Garrards. I was surprised since we have been on these shores since at least 1750 and fought on both sides of the Civil War.

Have you been to this cemetery? Do you have a relative buried there?

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