Arlington: A Gold Star Parent’s Perspective
Paula Davis and other Gold Star parents visit Arlington National Cemetery each week.
Established during the Civil War, Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most recognizable and hallowed burial grounds in the United States. Section 60 is designated as the final resting place for more than a thousand American troops killed while serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nearly every weekend, Paula Davis travels here to visit the grave of her son -– her only child -– Private First Class Justin R. Davis, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. Paula is rarely alone when she grieves; she’s part of a group of mourning family members who make the pilgrimage to Section 60 on a regular basis.
Gold Star Mothers
As a part of her healing journey, Paula became a member of Maryland Gold Star Mothers, a chapter of American Gold Star Mothers founded in 1928. By serving veterans and healing together, these parents honor the memory of sons and daughters lost while in active duty military service.
Arlington National Cemetery
By 1865, over 16,000 American soldiers -– many unidentified, both union and confederate -– were buried at Arlington. Today, over 400,000 active service members, veterans and their families are interred here, and each week nearly 160 funerals are held across Arlington’s sanctified grounds.
The cemetery is open 365 days a year to visitors who wish to remember the service and sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform. Virtual visitors can experience the stories of those buried in Arlington through Today I Remember posts.
Arlington National Cemetery also has an app for the public to visit virtually or find information or the location of a grave while visiting in person.