Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paying my respects at Fort Logan

I recently had the sad honor of attending the burial ceremony of Staff Sergeant Brian J. Joiner, US Air Force. He was the son of a friend of mine from when I worked as a contractor at UAL and died last month while on active duty, at Nellis AFB in Nevada.

Today being Veteran's Day, it's become a tradition for me to visit Fort Logan and give my respect to the fields of warriors who lay there after having given their all for our country. It was a bit more poignant for me this time as this time I "knew" one of the residents .
The sun was just beginning to shine its rays into the dull red skies as I made my way to Section 44 of the national cemetery. Brian's grave site is #417 and I found it easily enough in the twilight. I was fortunate enough to be in time to capture this sunrise on this Veteran's Day:

The new arrivals section

click on each picture for a larger version

The sunrise over a nearby small pond

The government being what it is, it takes several weeks I was told to get the marble headstone made which will serve as his permanent grave marker. I was saddened to see how many of these new grave markers there were, awaiting their headstones. I know we're at war and that young men and women die in war; I just wonder if most people will remember these young warriors and the ones that preceded them in wars past.

Brian was flanked on both sides by Army men: To his right lays SP4 William R. Jackson while to his right lays SGT Harold J. Winkler. I believe Brian is in good company with his fellow new residents of Fort Logan.

Section 44 is located on a small hillside overlooking the football field/track of the J.K. Mullen High School which is located on the other side of the cemetery's fence line. The thought came to mind that it was a good location for these young men, both for them to be able to "see" future games and for those playing in that nearby sports field to remember the ones who gave their lives.

Finishing my visit with Brian and his fellow warriors, I left and rode slowly through the cemetery, gazing as always at the seemingly endless rows of grave stones...neatly symmetrical and and laid out with precision. I stopped by the main flagpole, surrounded already by many U.S. Flags in preparation for today's ceremonies.

It was time for me to depart Fort Logan and the company of our country's fallen warriors; but there was time for one more picture at the main gate:

I hope you are flying the National Colors at your home today, be assured they are flying at mine!

My thanks to all Veterans, past and present, for their service.

Note: Here's a link to help you find the gravesite of someone you might know in our nation's military cemeteries. LINK

1 comment:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 9 (Dom):

The pictures you took, and one other from John McClane (Scooter In Turkey), have me thinking;

In Flanders fields the poppies grow...
Between the crosses row on row.

The poet Joyce Kilmer, from New Jersey, is honored today too.

The always rises on US liberty, as long as one soldier is standing at arms somewhere.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads