Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

A Christmas visit to pay respects

8 Comments

This afternoon, with the sun popping in and out of high clouds, I visited the nearby veterans cemetery hoping to find images that remind us all how important the people resting here were and still are.

The sky couldn’t decide between clouds and sun.

When I first arrived the sun was hiding and the images seemed flat. Still, there were stories to imagine as I read headstone after headstone.

Everybody here has someone missing them.

There are so many buried here, with room for thousands more. It’s a peaceful place way out in the country, surrounded by farmland, far away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Still there’s a bit of Christmas tucked among the stones.

A wreath stands among the white headstones.

Some sections of the cemetery had wreaths placed against each stone, other sections had what looked like more personal decorations, perhaps placed by family members.

Some holiday cheer in a solemn place under dark skies.

I was just about to leave, not pleased with the images I had, when the sun come out, spotlighting the edges of the lines and lines of stones.

Sunlight changes everything.

Then a gun salute went off somewhere on the other side of the cemetery, and taps was played as another soldier began eternal rest. And the sun continued to shine, showing this place in all it’s beauty.

The sky clears.

If you have a similar cemetery near you, take some time and explore it, even if you don’t have family or friends there. There are many stories on the headstones, each one telling us a bit about the person resting below.

Notice this young man died at 24 years old, and the stone just to the left and back one row was a WWII vet, dying in the same month and year, but with so much more life lived.

We owe them at least a bit of time. I think you’ll find it a beautiful experience, especially this time of year.

Wishing you all joy and peace this holiday season.

Merry Christmas Mr. Kirchoff.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

8 thoughts on “A Christmas visit to pay respects

  1. Well done, Dawn! I’ve long found cemeteries to be particularly serene places. Yes, one can almost hear the sobbing of the family and friends left behind, but those beneath the headstones are no longer in pain and are at peace. You’ve captured that beautifully. I love that somebody has placed Christmas wreaths there — I think that must be a “thing” because recently, I heard a TV news report about others doing the same thing.

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    • There’s a whole movement. In Arlington every headstone has a wreath placed, there are big semi trucks there, full of wreaths and volunteers to place them. Here I understand there weren’t enough for each headstone. I don’t know if it’s a regional fundraising thing or what.

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  2. My grandparents are buried in a veteran’s cemetery- with those endless rows. Most of the stones I have seen just bear the names and dates, though I will have to wander more next time I go. Beautiful images

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    • Many of the stones here have a little saying that must have been important to the person, or comments from family etched below the name. Maybe that’s a new thing. This cemetery is relatively new, started I think in 2004 or 2005. Sometimes the quote is on the back of the stone, sometimes it’s on the front. Many don’t have anything, but many do.

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  3. Our city is participating in wreaths across America this year, and they are especially lovely. Thanks for posting your images so I can see them in a different place. All the best to you for happy holidays and a wonderful new year.

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  4. Lovely somber photos! Thank you for sharing with us. Merry Christmas!

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