I received an email the other day from a woman in England who was looking for some help. She had seen my post on this blog about the Riverside National Cemetery and wanted to know if I would stop by again and take a picture of a headstone for a family member. I thought that Memorial Day would be the right time to go and take my kids to do this. They were great and they cleaned the headstone, placed the flowers and the flag and held the 2 stop silk defuser to make sure the lighting was even. We had a great day and the girls got see the Memorial Day Service at the cemetery. It was packed and I think it gave us a chance to talk about things that are important but not always at the front of the pack when it comes to talk time. Death, service, the sacred not horror nature of a cemetery, the military and why we do things for others. We got more out of this then the person who wanted the picture. Thanks for asking.
Here are some excerpts from her emails. "I am an American living abroad. I am from Seattle, but moved to Poland four years ago to teach, and then to England almost two years ago. I grew up hearing about Emory Phillips, but no one really knew what had happend to him until I found his military and burial records on ancestry.com. Emory's grandfather was my great-great grandfather, so I guess that makes us cousins. My father was really pleased to find out about him, and I know he will be very touched to have a picture. Thank you so much."
This is from the email after I sent her the picture. "I wanted to let you know that I forwarded the photo to my uncle in Oregon, and he was very touched and pleased. He asked me to pass along his thanks to you for doing that for our family. I will also print it out and send it to my father who I know will be equally chuffed (Brit speak for very, very pleased)
The fact that a stranger would do something like that really touched me. I wish I had a way to thank you other than to say that I hope you know how much your kindess is appreciated. Please let your children know that they were probably the first people to ever decorate his grave like that, as no one knew he was there."
Also the out takes for the day, they were too moving to leave out. The burly biker that had his head bowed with the entire huge crowd during the invocation. He had a tear in his eye when he looked up. That was so powerful for my kids to see. The honor guard was sharp and perfect.
It was a really great day.
Thanks for looking.