Sunday, June 29, 2003

Yesterday, I went to Arlington National Cemetery.

You ascend the hill slowly, like a pilgrim ascending towards enlightenment, past dozens then hundreds then thousands of bone-white gravestones. Each one is engraved with a name and a dozen painful memories. Youc an almost see the families clustered around each grave.

You ascend to the top and are almost shocked by Lee’s garden, an oasis of color and serenity. It is formal in structure but informally planted, explosions of orange and yellow spilling over onto neat gravel paths.

But this is not all the cemetery has to say. For, beyond the garden, lies the original Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

It is almost obscenely beuatiful. Its circle of white pillars crowned with emerald clematis is a classic beauty, a Greek beauty, a beauty perfected twenty-five hundred years ago. It stands like Athena at the center of Troy’s shattered remains.

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