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Undertaking a mission of reverence and kindness on Memorial Day today was Emily Domenech, who posted on Twitter her intention of visiting her grandfather's grave at Arlington National Cemetery, and offered to visit the graves of others as well.
Social distancing restrictions and fallout from lockdown orders made it impossible for any but the families of fallen soldiers and veterans to visit their graves at Arlington National Cemetery, where so many American vets lie buried. Buddies, pals, or friends were unable to enter the cemetery to pay their respects, but that didn't stop some kind people from offering to visit the graves on their behalf.
A Senior Policy Advisor at Office of the Republican Leader in the House of Representatives, Domenech is a graduate of the US Naval War College. Her compassion for military families and friends runs deep. When she was offered money for her service, she asked simply that those funds go to support veterans through charitable organizations.
"Does anyone have buddies buried in Arlington who they would like visited today? Since only family members are allowed in, I would be honored to pay respects on your behalf..."
This tweet was shared thousands of times, and many friends of vets took Domenech up on her offer. She not only visited the graves, but began sharing photos of those headstones, so that the fallen would never be forgotten.
She shared those images with those who requested she visit by proxy.
Veterans have been interred in Arlington National Cemetery since 1864, about a year before the end of the Civil War. It lies across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Veterans from every war America has fought are buried here.
Domenech stayed as long as she could, when she was ushered out of the cemetery at closing time. By that time, her parents had come to assist her cause.
On this 152nd Memorial Day, it was a gift of those who were able to attend the graves of their loved ones that they offered their compassion and respect for those who were not able to have the visitors they so deserved.