THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

100 Yesterday

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Arlington National Cemetery held commemorative events marking the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier yesterday. And a beautiful day it was for such an event. The Tomb is a spot I visit often. My parents are buried in an adjoining section, which is very near this. I always walk down and watch the changing of the guard after I visit with them.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photo by Mike Hartley

Sometimes I’ll walk through the empty Memorial Ampletheater, sometimes around the outside of it. I try to stand in a different spot each time as I watch the changing of the guard. I marvel at the precision and details of the Old Guard.

Tomb Guard. Photo by Mike Hartley

Most people come as visitors, but those who come for personal connections it’s part of our home. It’s a place of many and all emotions. Some very raw. Some that are just as painful as the day they became reality. Sometimes you see a smile. Sometimes you see people looking skyward. Sometimes just a bowed head. Many take a knee and embrace a headstone.

Looking for family. Photo by Mike Hartley

Sometimes I shed a few tears even before I pull in the main gate. Thankfully I’ve been able to pull it together by the time of the security checks. But then the drive up to their row sometimes triggers emotions. I usually feel good as I exit the car and begin the walk down their row. When I get to their grave sometimes it’s very good. Like this summer visit when I just sat and told them stories about the children and what we were up to. Just like a summer visit sitting outside chatting and I left with a smile and good feeling. Other times I miss them so bad I have trouble standing there and am just silent, wiping tears the whole visit.

Sometimes I think those different feelings are due to the different times of the year. Of course, I miss them more during the holiday times. Especially Xmas and Thanksgiving times. And summers for us were always more upbeat.

So I’ll end here and get back to work on the project of gathering some of the shots I’ve taken there on the wall for my friends and family to sort through for what is the best work. To me, it’s just pointed out a few things I think I need to go back and work on or shoot again, and other things I need to shoot for the first time.

Random Thoughts of the Day this morning

  • I long for the day I don’t wake in pain. But I also will think more about those that are fighting much more difficult battles.
  • Today I have many opportunities to make progress. Will I choose to do so is the question?
  • I forgot to add yesterday my appreciation for all that serve and have served this wonderful country. I hope you know the appreciation is there every day of the year, not just Veterans Day.
  • I’ve got to work on enlarging my palette of color.
  • It feels like reading season. It’s #39 in my book of things to do instead of going outside in the cold.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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