It's hard not to get choked up when you're taking part in PLANET's Renewal & Remembrance event at Arlington National Cemetery. Here, for the past 16 years, Green Industry volunteers have convened to donate their time and materials to help preserve the hallowed grounds where so many of our country's finest men and women rest.
I caught myself tearing up during the Pledge of Allegiance, changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier and especially when a funeral procession rolled by and all the volunteers shut down their equipment as the caisson, troops and band passed. I'm kind of a crybaby, so it's no surprise, but I know I wasn't the only one welling up.
The 400 volunteers took a moment of silence during the opening ceremony this morning, and it seems as if another one's in order for those who couldn't make it.
But first, a recommendation: If you've never participated in this event, put it on your calendar for next year. I promise you won't regret it. Such service is a rite of passage, and the least we all could do. --Marisa Palmieri