The Road to Arlington

I had an interesting day today, a thoughtful one, so unusually I am going to write more than I usually do. The Day started out bright and sunny with my mood high, I checked out of the motel and headed east on the Inter State 66, snapping the road along the way. PA160008
I passed through Manassa on the way to Arlington so I reserved a room while I was there, so I would have less hassle later. I was in a high mood as I felt like tomorrow with Its late flight was an extra day. The was a little congestion on the highway but eventually there I was pulling into the car park at Arlington.PA160012
That was when things changed, my mood darkened and I felt my chest tight, there is defiantly a brooding but respectful feeling about this place.PA160013
I also remembered something I had not thought about in 15 years, when my ex father in law was a glider pilot with the 1st Airborne Division of the Parachute Regiment of the British Army and landed troops at Normandy.PA160014
He was separated from his division and spent most of the next few days fighting alongside American soldiers. PA160015
We talked about this many times and many years later when he was dying of lung cancer we would sit and talk about those days over the only thing ever made him feel better a bottle of Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky, lol.PA160023

He knew I loved to travel and he had always wanted to pay his respects to the guys he had fought with and those he had see die at his side.

I said to him that if I ever got to Washington I would go pay his respects at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

So all these years later having not even given it a second thought again until I walked through those gates, here am I in Arlington, now on a mission to find the Tomb.

The somber mood consumed me more and more and to add drama the sky's darkened and there was a hint of rain in the air.
PA160024 Then the loudest bang I ever heard scared the s### outa me!!!!!!PA160026
I know how they were changing the Guard at the Tomb.

I felt very emotional as I climbed the hill to the spot where the Tomb stood, there were crowds all around.

I was disappointed that there was not a little more reverence at such a place but I guess tahts just me!

When the change of the Guard was over I walked to a place away from the Tomb where I could take a shot up the hill and show it in its full glory and have a quiet moment.PA160029PA160033
I had an overwhelming feeling that this was one of those things thats on the check list of life that I was supposed to do.

Then the strangest thing of the day, as I took the shot, I looked up and an eagle slowly circled once above the tomb then flew off into the west where the sun had just broken through the clouds.

My mood lifted immediately and I walked back to the car park through the neat rows of military graves

PA160034PA160037Interestingly I found the grave of Field Marshal Sir John Dill who may be the only British Soldier to be buried at Arlington.PA160045

PA160046Having payed my respects I left The Arlington Cemetery to full-fill another promise and fine  the monument to the United States Marines.PA160054

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