I spent my birthday in Virginia. It was a hot and humid day at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery, but my family sat waiting for President Joe Biden to give his Memorial Day speech. We had arrived to pay our respects and see some of the popular sitesat Arlington.

We walked to a shuttle area where they had said we can get shuttled up to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watch the change of the guards, we all thought this would be easier then walking because Arlington Cemetery is huge and if we had walked all the way up there, we would have gotten even more sweaty and hot. The shuttle returned us to the Memorial Amphitheater and there was a lot of security around. My dad went to get water while my mom and I went to find some seats. While we were waiting I saw a TAPS Advocate (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) needing help carrying all the flowers she had brought to lay on the rows and rows of headstones of fallen soldiers. The advocate gifted me a dozen pink roses to pay tribute to the fallen with my family.

When it came time to hear President Biden’s speech, he addressed all the families of soldiers now and in the past. He spoke about what Memorial Day meant to him and spoke of the many fallen heroes buried there in Arlington.

After the speech we walked back to the entrance and placed flowers on headstones of soldiers who hadn’t been given respects yet and I gave my dad two roses. He laid them upon those lost that he had served with in the Iraq/ Afghanistan War.

It was a very long and hot walk, but I enjoyed seeing the President, First Lady and Vice President in person and hearing the speech honoring all the fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom.

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