Linda Maye Adams

The Sounds of Arlington National Cemetery


Arlington National Cemetery is likely to be the setting of at least one scene in my next book Hunger.  So a trip was in order to experience the cemetery.  I’d been before, but it was during summer and crowded with tourists.  This time it was late November.

The most memorable thing: the sounds.  I went right when the cemetery opened and the tourists hadn’t arrived yet, so the sounds stood out.  It started with a suffocating quiet, as if someone were pressing a hand down on the place for silence.

Then the sounds came through, one at a time:

The buzz of a leaf blower.

The wind ruffling the leaves in the trees.

Water spraying against concrete.

The clack of the soldier’s shoes as he pivots in a right face.

A child’s cry as she bounced down some stairs ahead of her parents.

Then the bark of rifle volleys.  One.  Two.  Three.

Drumbeat.

The Star Spangled Banner.

The soft footfalls of rain.

Also check out my blog on the 21st Anniversary of Desert Storm: Women at War.

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