Since I returned to making art in 2012, it has been my tradition to sketch and meditate on the cost of our freedom and democracy at Tahoma National (VA) Cemetery on a day close to Memorial Day.
I brought one original sketch and some prints to abandon. I actually gave two of them away to individuals. First to the veteran distributing American Legion memorial poppies in front of the QFC grocery. I’d stopped to buy some flowers for graves. I so rarely see anyone distributing poppies that I stopped to get one and to chat. I gave him the sketch of Tahoma with Rainier on the horizon.
I also gave the same sketch to a young man who stopped to look at what I was sketching today. His name is Zak and he was there to visit the grave of his father. On a happy note, he’d just gotten engaged yesterday and his finance showed off her beautiful ring.
Abandoned one of the same sketches at the Veteran’s Honor Rose.
I left flowers, a penny and both the original and a print of a sketch I did a few years ago at the grave of a Civil War Veteran. This is one I always visit. There are often flowers but this year what few flowers were old, so I left some fresh ones.
Another grave I always visit is that of the first combat death in Afghanistan. (The “KIA” flag means “Killed in Action”).
The third soldier I make a point to visit is one whose mother contacted me after she found my sketch of his grave. I didn’t leave flowers as there was a nice bouquet from the family but I did abandon a sketch and leave my penny.
I left more flowers at some random graves and also the penny as symbol of the visit.
For this year’s sketch I chose the grave of CPL Frederick Talbert, Killed in Action March 2 1945. I now wish I’d taken a photo of the marker as I cannot find any record of him buried at Tahoma though he clearly is. I’d hoped to find more information about him but even a web search turned up nothing.