Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day ~ Calverton National Cemetery

The largest of the 130 National Cemeteries is the Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island, NY. Calverton National Cemetery conducts more than 7,000 burials each year.

It is truly humbling.

"The National Cemetery honors Veteran's with a final resting place and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation. The National Cemetery Administration strives to provide burial benefits to those who gave so much for their country. To the National Cemetery Administration this is more than a mission ~ it is a Sacred Trust." ( taken from the Department of Veteran's Affairs)

Ray's Dad is buried here, and each year at this time Ray and his brother and sister visit the cemetery. Ray and I go there at other times throughout the year but usually in the Fall it is a trip that they make together (Dad's birthday is October 17, and there is Veteran's Day, and Dad passed away on November 21, so they choose a weekend at this time of year to visit the grave together and then to visit places and beaches that they used to summer at as kids. Long Island holds many happy memories for them. I would imagine it is a very bittersweet visit for them.).

Ray's Dad, Harry, came to America from Sweden, and his 'immigration' story, and his heroic war efforts and his sacrifice as an American soldier can be found in a post I did about him HERE.

Ray also took some pictures of the many different symbols on the stones:
(This is something that I am always in awe of, so many different walks of life, so many different religions, so many different ethnic backgrounds, but ALL American heroes united in the effort to serve and defend their country.)

I found these symbols so interesting that I went in search to find information on them.
A full listing of symbols and their meanings can be found HERE if anyone else is interested.


I watched the flag pass by one day
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it
And then he stood at ease
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
He'd stand out in a crowd
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many fox holes were soldiers' graves?
No, Freedom Is Not Free

I heard the sound of Taps one night
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend?
I thought of all the children
Of mothers, and of wives,
Of fathers, sons, and husbands
with interrupted lives

And I thought about the graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
And of unmarked graves in Arlington...
No, Freedom Is Not Free

~ Author Unknown

"America's Not At War.

Our Military Is At War.

America Is At The Mall."

~ Author Unknown

Please remember the enormous sacrifices of our Veterans, please remember the great cost that affords us the freedoms we enjoy. Please pray for our military as they risk life, limb, and sanity.



  1. A beautiful tribute to veterans....and a heartwarming story about Ray and his brother and sister visiting the cemetery....the different symbols on the headstones...I could go on...but words aren't necessary after this lovely blog. Thank you, Eileen. This is indeed moving...

  2. Jackie, I just tried to comment on your blog and got booted off again! Blogger!
    'Loved the picture of the Church Steeple/Cross.

    I posted my Veteran's Day post early because I won't be around tomorrow (and I don't trust Blogger to do the job), I'm taking Jayden downtown to see the USS New York, I think tomorrow is the last day it will be here.
    'See' you later in the week!
    Love to you,

  3. What a humbling post, especially with the very beautiful music you have playing on your blog. At first as I was reading it I thought, oh no I missed Veteran's Day. Then I remembered it is tomorrow. So with your post in mind, I now know what I am going to do. Thanks to you.
    Also, that last quote...it almost sounded like a joke until I started thinking about it...we can be at the Mall BECAUSE our military is at war.

  4. Touching post. My grandfather is buried at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver. I remember when they opened it as a child. I was always struck by the symmetry of the headstones. Thank you for this post. God bless and keep all who are in the military! Cathy

  5. What a beautiful and moving post. I love how you included all the markers on the headstones, this is such a timely post Eileen, luv you.....hugs to Mia and Jayden....:-)

  6. Eileen I am confused! I didn't know you had 2 blogspots! I came across 'Stick Close to Home' through Di's blog! both are very nice and I loved the veterans poem. I wrote one for my husband that was printed in the Veteran's newpaper years and years ago. I will have to dig it up since I can't remember it. Very nice tribute. I better get home fast tonight and take my Veteran Marine out to dinner!

  7. Thank you, everyone, for visiting and commenting. We just got in, we went to the Veteran's Day Parade in Manhattan, and did lots of walking!
    Jayden and I are tired!
    I took pictures (until the batteries ran out!), I'll post them later in the week.

    Yes, Linda, I actually have three blogs (one is more a prayer journal, and the Stick Close To Home one is more 'home decorating', I did Tablescapes and things like that on there, but I've been neglecting that one a lot. I am having a give-away on Saturday, so everyone reading here, go and throw your name in the hat! You can find Stick Close To Home on my side bar. It will be the post before the Veteran's Day one.)

    "See" you all later in the week!
    Love to you,

  8. So very personal and informative at the same time! Thanks to Ray's dad and all those others represented by the crosses in the cemetery. I didn't have time to go to your additional posts, but hope to this weekend (then again, honestly, I doubt that I'll get to them this weekend. Who knows?) Glad you got to the parade. I love the bands and the veterans marching with the flags, etc.

  9. Eileen...I look forward to your photos that you took tonight at the parade. I'm glad that you were able to visit my blog. I'm sorry that blogger kicked you off. Rest well, my friend.

  10. Wonderful post Eileen...I actually read it this morning, but we left early to do some shopping, which ended up an all day thing.

    I went back and read the post about Ray's dad and the link about the symbols on the stones.
    The photos of the cemetery, when enlarged, show well how enormous it is.

    Look forward to the parade photos!
    Luv and Smiles,

  11. This was a lovely post Eileen. And I found the different markers very interesting. Been having computer woes again. Don't know how long this will last. LOve You, Love Di

  12. Eileen,
    This is one of my very favorite Veteran's Day posts!!! What a wonderful tribute!!! And your photos are so compelling!!! And not only that, but you also make a personal connection! I loved this! Thank you for bringing it all home for me!! Love you! Janine XO

  13. What a great post Eileen! A beautiful tribute to our veterans.