Another reason I like to come back here is the sense of quiet reverence that surrounds it. Just a few steps away are the sounds of the city, but in this particular spot, the noise is muffled, and people talk in hushed tones. In any case, this is a popular spot to take photos, so once I get the shot, I move along to make way for the next person.
It’s the Memorial Day weekend so we visited the Sarasota National Cemetery. What I didn’t expect is how it affected me. The number of markers is overwhelming; I’m not sure what I expected. I stood here amongst the rows trying to understand. The thought is that these people lived near me; this is not a far away place. It’s inevitable the emotions well up here.
There were quite a few others like myself that had come to see. We were milling about aimlessly, not knowing were to start or where it ended.
Then as I stood here I noticed a couple about my age stride purposely through the rows, they knew where they were going. My heart was in my throat as they stopped and stood at the far side over one grave in particular.
The purpose of my visit was not to make myself sad, but to remember. The sacrifices are not just some passages in a dusty history book; they are here living amongst us, in plain sight every day.
Some of us have the luxury of forgetting, only to remember on occasions like this. Others among us do not.