Since my return to sketching, I’ve sketched at a veteran’s memorial near each Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It is a tribute and a meditation of the sacrifice. Today I went to Tahoma VA National Cemetery. Tomorrow it will be very crowded with all those attending the official ceremonies. Today, there were people quietly visiting their fallen loved ones and leaving flowers.
I left flowers at the grave of the only Civil War veteran buried at Tahoma.
I also brought flowers for the grave of the first soldier killed in Afghanistan. However, his grave already had flowers. So I left mine at the nearby grave of another soldier KIA in Afghanistan.
I then settled in to sketch the marker of the soldier I’d picked for today’s sketch. My choices are random. This one had a wreath and was just across the street from the above grave site.
This year, I later looked up more information about the soldier.
Tahoma is beautifully situated. There are tall trees all around. Today, the clouds hung low, gray and threatening. On a better weather day, Mt. Rainier can be seen towering in the near distance and adds even more majesty to this holy ground.
I saw coins on several headstones. I looked it up when I got back home. There is some debate about the tradition and the meaning of denominations of coins. However, it is generally regarded as a token of visitation.
I’ve done something each year:
2013 it was raining so I sewed bears for Fisher House