Several years ago, my wife and I visited Los Angeles National Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend. We heard about the Boys and Girls Scouts placing flags at each of the graves.
We wanted to go and pay our respects to people we never met — but to whom we’re forever grateful.
It truly was one of the most memorable, emotional, and humbling experiences of our lives.
We figured we’d be there, like, a half-hour. About three hours later, we finally got back into our car and sobbed. Like, wept until our tear ducts pretty much said, Uh, yeah, you’ve cried yourselves dry. Better drink some water. Seeing a landscape of about 85,000 graves (many honoring young people) each decorated with an American flag gave us stirred up incredible senses of patriotism, anger, gratitude, and sorrow.
I’m not a big crier. But I still get choked up each time I think about that cemetery visit.
No matter our plans during Memorial Day weekend, we always take a few minutes to acknowledge those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom (and that of other countries, but we needn’t discuss that now).
Earlier today, I drove past the LA National Cemetery while en route to LAX — and saw the beautiful, poignant display again. Thirty minutes later, I was inside the Delta T3 Sky Club — and saw this table on the second floor, just past the escalators.
Flags of the United States military branches adorned both sides of the table.
Outside the Sky Club stood a table draped with a cloth. A lone, empty chair was placed against the glass. The United States flag and a POW-MIA flag flanked the table. A red rose and a small US flag served as the centerpiece.
There would be no occupant sitting down to a meal. This is a Fallen Soldiers Table.
I’m not sure if this was Delta’s doing or Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) or both. But, wow, what a special and powerful scene.
(This was my second time through the Sky Way since it opened last month. I don’t remember seeing it before — which isn’t it wasn’t there, of course.)
I blinked away tears and tried swallowing the lump in my throat while walking to my gate.
Most of us love a long weekend — and Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial start of summer. But it’s important to remember the meaning behind Memorial Day. Yes — we should have a barbeque, go swimming, see a movie, travel, whatever — but do it with gratitude towards those who helped make it possible. Just remember to raise a glass and say a prayer (if either or both of those are your thing) in honor of those who aren’t here to enjoy it with us.
Bravo to Delta for their display inside the Sky Club today. And a shout to them and/or whoever created the Fallen Soldiers Table.
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