Even as hundreds of landscapers from around the country descended upon Arlington National Cemetery, the place seemed quiet and still.
Even as they dug, hammered, limed, aerated and cabled, the cemetery resounded with an uncanny peaceful hush, as if the cemetery itself is as resilient as those it holds once were.
Perhaps it was the row upon row of white gravestones, situated in symmetrical straight lines.
Or the grass, so well kept it’s still green in this sweltering summer.
Or the stately towering old trees that show no signs of withering.
Or the striking contrast of green and white everywhere you look.
For whatever reasons, the scene’s all very picaresque, even when you come to the shocking realization that those graves all hold the bodies of people who once were very much alive, people who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
The landscapers were at the cemetery as part of the Professional Landcare Networks’ (PLANET’s) day of Renewal & Remembrance, in which landscapers from across the country flock to D.C. once a year to landscape Arlington National Cemetery.
The Renewal & Remembrance effort embodies the very traits of Arlington National Cemetery itself: duty, honor and strength. Every cemetery is sacred. But there’s something about Arlington that feels just a little more powerful, a little more historic, a little more majestic than the others.
Few tears were shed. There was no laughter, either. Just reverence. For the 15th annual year, landscapers paid their respects in the best way they know how: through their work.