On Monday morning, I and my guests and a few other people we know went to Arlinton National Cemetery to see the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Changing of the Guard.
As many times as I've seen this, I never tire of it; it's always beautiful.
We then walked down to the Columbarium to pay our respects to Captain Ralph Goranson, who was being interred with Honors on this day. Capt. Goranson was an Army Ranger who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944, and he was the real-life Ranger Captain that Tom Hanks' character was based on in the movie Saving Private Ryan.
And I could not leave without checking up on a friend.
The marker is not set yet, and there's precious little grass, but I threw a nickel just the same.
As it turns out, Ed's got some fantastic neighbors.
I didn't even know that General "Boots" Blesse had passed, but there he is, just a few graves away. Like Ed, this man had what it took to be one of America's best.
On the other side, a few more markers away, there's Lt. Colonel Walter Sanders. one of the US Army's most famous Rangers.
LTC Sanders was one of the early advisers to the South Vietnamese in 1962 and he led Rangers and ARVN troops in battle over three tours, He soldiered on through 26 years and was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004. Again, I hadn't heard that he'd passed and had no idea that he was in Arlington, much less right there.
There are countless others in the immediate area worthy of note as well.
Ed is definitely in good company. And I'll be back from time to time to pay my respects, both to Ed and to the countless other heroes that lie in repose in this hallowed ground.