Arlington National Cemetery in Tribute to Our Veterans

Savannah Inn at Arlington
Teresa and Jake at Arlington National Cemetry, Renewal and Remembrance, Irrigation Team

Last week Jake and I returned from a three-day visit in Washington DC as part of a group effort donating time and resources to the beautification of sacred ground – Arlington National Cemetery.   Yesterday we received a certificate of appreciation from PLANET (Professional Landcare Network), the sponsor for the Renewal and Remembrance project at Arlington.  This opportunity was laid before me by my husband, Jake, a member of PLANET and a Regional Sales Manager for Jain USA, a worldwide leader in the manufacturer of quality drip irrigation products for the agricultural, turf, greenhouse, nursery, industrial and landscape markets.  As you are aware there are two very important aspects of our business that we love to share with guests: our eco-friendly nature and our respect, admiration and tribute to our veterans and current members of our military service.

Immediately across from the inn’s reception desk one will find my father’s framed service medals earned during World War II as a gunner’s mate in the United States Navy and in a life-time career with the United States Air Force.  On one side hangs a picture of my paternal grandfather who at age 16 enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and by age 17 had been wounded at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France and on the other side will soon be a picture of my maternal grandfather who served with the First Newfoundland Regiment (later known as the Royal Newfoundland Regiment) and fought at Ypres (of In Flanders Field fame) in 1918.  A grandchild shared a memory of the only time he could remember my grandfather speaking of the war.  “Wave after wave of our men battled to capture the hill and finally it was ours.  The very men who hours before were shooting at each other were now sharing cigarettes and pictures of family.” He remarked on the senselessness of war – one in which he lost his two best friends from childhood who had all enlisted together.  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
“I Have Seen War … I Hate War” – FDR
Jake and I visited each war memorial and from each carried the heartache of war, the sense of loss, and yet, a feeling of pride and patriotism and reverence for the sacrifices made and endured.  We especially enjoyed the memorial to FDR and read his inspiring words and found the relevance to today and all that we face – and took faith that we would survive and emerge stronger – if we listen to the wisdom of a man who led our country through the Great Depression and WW2.
At the WW2 Memorial, we looked up my dad’s name and read his story; at the Korean War Memorial we understood a friend’s comment, “It’s haunting”; the Vietnam Memorial – a pain to my eyes and heart; Iwo Jima and the famous flag raising, and finally, the memorial to Women in Service to our Country.  I must remember to add my sister, Sharon, and my own records to the memorial and join our Aunt Petty (Theresa Scott Gleason, sister of our dad) in the memorial.
I will be a part of next year’s renewal working side by side with my husband, other veterans, and children while the sound of taps and the sharp report of rifle fire sounds throughout the day – as we pay tribute to the greatest of America’s heroes.  We also plan to participate again in B&B for Vets (see our blog post from last year) on November 10, 2011, filling our ten-room inn free of charge with veterans (and a guest) as another small gesture of our earned respect, admiration and support.  We will begin accepting telephone reservations from active duty and fully retired military on September 11 as we remember the frailty of our freedom and the courage of those who defend it.
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Azalea Inn and Gardens is proud to be a member of Better Way to Stay and heartily endorses its sponsorship of B&B for Vets campaign.