On Feb 28 Wed, I, family and about 2 dozen friends, will go to ANC for the final resting place of my husband Marty. It will be exactly 6 months that he died unexpectedly, suddenly. One of my local widow friends, who remembered my day for this is coming soon, told me for her the ceremony gave her some peace.
What was your experience if you used ANC or your local state's veteran's cemetery? I have no idea, or expectations at this time.
I am retired navy (20 years). Susan and I had discussed where we would like to be laid to rest. My parents and grandparents were all in a cemetery in
UpState New York near Syracuse. We were living in Colorado. It made no sense to us to use the plots set aside for us so far away. We figured that
our three boys would soon have their own families and would be flung out over the country, so we decided to take advantage of one of our benefits and use a military cemetery near us. Consequently, when Susan preceded me I went there.
It was wonderful. I furnished a DD-214 and they took over everything.
Her tombstone is a nice white marble and engraved SUSAN R LAMBERT and her dates, with a very nice inscription that the boys and I
came up with.
Susan is now resting in the Fort Logan National Cemetery, in Denver. It is beautiful with very nice views, and extremely well maintained.
When I pass they dig a hole beside her, place my remains beside her, and, turn the stone around and engrave it with my information.
The kids don't have to worry about at thing and for my accountant son, its free, a benefit that I earned.
Because I was the one in the military there was no fancy ceremony for Susan. We had a Priest who presided and everyone who wanted to, said something.
My kids will get to see/hear the fancy one, I hope they appreciate it and what it represents.
This is wonderfully assuring Frank. ANC is just a 2-3 hour drive from where we live. Marty and I talked about it as a draw to the family because so many people visit just to visit DC and ANC would hopefully fit on their agenda when they visit. I feel like I will visit 2 to 3 times a year. At least that's my thinking now.
Marty will be in the columbarium - which we actually visited on our tour of ANC just last June for Father's Day and our anniversary. I don't know where my spot will be when my time comes but as you have said, it's a wonderful benefit and makes it easier for our children. I have just one son so I know, for him, this will help when it's my time.
I'm kind of puzzling over your comment "I don't know where my spot will be when my time comes." Unless you are thinking of being interred somewhere else, across town, or across the country, your "spot will be" beside him in the same columbarium vault.
That's what I thought. What I remember being told or read on their website or more likely some paperwork I received, is that there is no promise as to where a spouse will be only that indeed, we can be buried there. And yes, that is what we preplanned for, for are ashes to be there together. For now, I won't think about it but instead focus on the Wednesday ceremony. NOW with Billy Graham in the Rotunda too! hahaha
My husband passed away early January of this year and having served proudly and honorably in our U.S. Navy, his wishes were to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I knew that we would have to wait several months and finally I was contacted by Arlington setting up a date in July 2018 for a full military honors service.
Of course, there was plenty of paperwork, military records notifications/changes, phone calls, emails, funeral home arrangements both here and Arlington and the travel and lodging coordination. Steve and I live in Huntsville Alabama. Other friends and family that wanted to attend where in various States which involved travel.
Why am I telling you all of this? It's what kept me going for those 6 months. With all of this going on, I was in business mode and I did not have time to think about my loss. I did have my moments where I broke down, but tried to keep busy cleaning, housework, laundry, shopping. I am so happy that I hired a videographer to film the entire service from the Chapel to the grave.
Believe it or not I can't open the package. It's sitting by his flag. I do plan on watching the DVD, but not right now. I know it will be very personal for me and I'll probably grieve more and more.
As far as my reaction to the burial ceremony, it was phenomenal, extraordinary, outstanding, unparalleled (I cannot say more). All participants from the Chaplain, caisson, escorts, band, salute, Arlington Lady, and so many more were impeccable and executed their duties with pride and honor. Even though I cried through the entire thing the service made me so proud of my husband that he was a special part of our United States military and that he deserved every minute of this honor.