Veterans Day evokes a lot of national pride for most citizens of the US and reminds us to be thankful to the soldiers that fought for our freedoms. For me, National Cemeteries really bring that reverence home. My mother and grandmother (her mother) have instilled in me a general appreciation for cemeteries. We used to spend Memorial Days driving around to various cemeteries to drop flowers off at the graves of deceased loved ones.
It wasn't until 2005 that I grew to have an additional appreciation for National Cemeteries. That was the year that my dad passed away and was laid to rest in the Houston National Cemetery. The grounds and ceremonies are an amazing tribute to the soldiers. I have also visited the National Cemeteries in Arlington and South Florida. They are all impressive and humbling.
Several weeks ago, I started thinking about when I took my kids to visit my dad's grave in December of 2008, which was three years after he died. If we were living there, we would definitely go this year too. I think it is a tradition that I will start as soon as we move back. What a wonderful way to kick off the month of December and also teach my kids a great lesson in life. Here is a photo I took then: