Here in the U.S.A. we are at the beginning of our Memorial Day Weekend with Monday May 25th being a national Memorial Day holiday.
When we were in Southern California for our nephews wedding in 2012 we made a special trip to Riverside National Cemetery where Dear’s father was buried in October of 1985, just a couple months before our Katie was born. Today I’m sharing some very dramatic memorials from the cemetery for this Memorial Day Weekend.
When the Warrior Returns
When the warrior returns, from the battle afar,
To the home and the country he nobly defended,
O! Warm be the welcome to gladden his ear,
And loud be the joy that his perils are ended:
In the full tide of song let his fame roll along,
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng,
Where, mixed with the olive, the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brows of the brave.
~ Francis Scott Key
We thank God our son-in-law, our warrior returned from his perils.
Riverside National Cemetery is the third-largest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and since 2000 has been the most active in the system based on the number of interments. It was established in 1976 through the transfer of 740 acres from March Air Force Base, which during World War II was called the U.S. Army’s Camp William G. Haan. The cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials Nov. 11, 1978. An additional 181 acres was transferred by the Air Force in 2003.
The dramatic, meandering landscape features a central boulevard with memorial circles, lakes, indigenous-styled committal shelters, and a memorial amphitheater.
Riverside National cemetery is home of the Medal of Honor Memorial and one of four sites recognized as a National Medal of Honor Memorial Site. The Medal of Honor Memorial, whose walls feature the names of all medal recipients, is located at the third traffic circle in the cemetery. It was dedicated in 1999.
Walking up to the Medal of Honor Memorial you see each of the seals of the branches of service. Of course we have our favorite…
Several Medal Honor Recipients are buried at this cemetery.
The Fallen Soldier/Veterans’ Memorial, erected in 2000, is dedicated to all service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The dramatic bronze structure topped by a lifeless soldier is located near the lake at the entrance to the cemetery.
This and the POW/MIA Memorial were very moving…
The Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial was designated as a national memorial by the U.S. Congress in 2004 through Public Law 108-454. The memorial was dedicated on September 16, 2005. Vietnam veteran Lewis Lee Millett, Jr., sculpted the bronze statue which depicts an American serviceman on his knees with hands bound by his captors. The statue is surrounded by black marble pillars that evoke imprisonment.
While we were at the cemetery we had an unexpected treat. See everyone looking up? March Air Force Base was hosting an air show this weekend and we got a wonderful view of the Patriots Jet Team.
Hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day weekend.