Today was Memorial Day 2008. I wanted to attend the ceremony at the Dallas - Fort Worth National Cemetery. I'm glad I did. It was a special occasion to be able to honor those heroes that paid the ultimate sacrifice for America's freedom. Regardless of any political views, or how this impacted individuals families lives, this was a time and a place to honor those that died preserving our freedoms as Americans. It was a time to feel many emotions for me. When I first got there, I was fortunate to see a man with a vest on that said VR Life Magazine and he had a camera and looked like a man that was going to take pictures of the event. I thought this might be a good idea to go up and ask him what the protocol for this event would be since this was my first time to be here on such an occasion. His name was Bill Hollingsworth, and he helped me immensely. With Governor Rick Perry about to be on location, I wanted to make sure I wasn't violating any rules or protocol for such an event.
It was very sunny and very humid at the National Cemetery. Shade was a premium as people from all walks of life came to honor those that are heroes. I do know that there were soldiers and sailors there that were in formal dress and it had to be scorching them. But as the military always is, you never saw them sweat. I don't quite know how to put into words the overall feeling, though there were many feelings and emotions at once. Pride, honor, remorse, sadness. All on these fields of honor.
Words can not really express the grand patriotic salute that I saw today. Perhaps I can show you better.
I saw people, hundreds of people. All seemingly with all of the emotions welling inside of me. I thought it was good that Governor Perry was in attendance. He seemed sincere about the occasion.
It was a somber reminder when one of the speakers started a roll-call of local veterans that ad died in battle. For each name, there was an indication of what branch of service he was in. In front of the podium were different chairs for the different branches of service with a person behind the chair with a pot of roses. When that veteran's name and branch of service was announced, that person would then put a rose in that branch's chair. There were too many roses.
The hot breeze, the sound of water fountains, the feeling of remorse for our country at such tragic losses. Freedom isn't free. It costs very dearly. At one point I wondered why. Why do there have to be conflicts and war? I added another emotion, one of anger at the stupidity of a country on the other side of the world. A country that loves to blow themselves and everyone around them up. But, that thinking was for another day. I was here today, right here and now, to witness the other end of that spectrum. The heroes. I began drifting into the crowd to see if i could pry my camera lens in to strangers personal lives if they would let me. I saw many different people and emotions.
After awhile, I ran out of emotions. I ran out of thoughts for the moment and just simply watched the entire miles of people paying respect. Additional Info Continued tomorrow.
And so it was. And so it is. Men fighting and dying for our country. Such heros, such honor. I've thought many times today how I would end this article after a night's sleep, and yet again the images and sounds take precedence in my mind. Words never suffice in war, and they don't do this occasion justice. So I will finish by saying I captured two additional videos and I think it is fitting to leave it that way.