Tag Archives: Los Angeles National Cemetery

The Los Angeles National Cemetery Prepares for Memorial Day

IMG_1730This past Saturday, I spent a few hours at the Los Angeles National Cemetery volunteering – with about a zillion Boy Scouts from the LA area and a couple of my students – readying the grounds for Memorial Day exercises to take place Monday. Our duties included placing a US flag at every soldier’s grave. This was a rewarding as well as sobering experience and I recommend it for anyone who should ever get the chance to participate.

The Scouts did an outstanding job and the proceeding ceremonies were complete with words offered by celebrity WWII veteran Jimmy Weldon (this is LA, after all). I was most impressed with the number of young people in attendance representing the vast diversity of the Los Angeles area. I overheard many a conversation concerning the origins and meaning of Memorial Day and left a little more confident that at least some of the younger generation carry with them a historical consciousness.

Below are a few pictures – I just snapped these candidly as walked through the crowd.

With compliments,


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The Silent Sentinel at the Los Angeles National Cemetery

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 9.36.20 AMWell, I believe that I have found what may be the most unimposing Civil War monument ever. Near the Sepulveda Blvd entrance to the Los Angeles National Cemetery stands a solitary Union soldier, on top of a rock, at parade rest.

There is nothing particularly remarkable about this statue, except perhaps for the lack of a clear message. There are no inscriptions…and nothing denoting cause or comrades. Without close inspection, one could wonder whether or not this was even a Union soldier. The presence of a small “US” belt plate betrays the soldier’s allegiance. But that is all. Does he commemorate Union? Emancipation? Or does he simply stand guard over his fallen comrades, which in this case, happen to be WWII soldiers?

I suspect that his silence speaks to each of us individually – make of him what you will…his very presence will get you thinking.

With compliments,