For those of us whose loved one died in Iraq or Afghanistan, Section 60 needs no other description. Section 60 is the final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery for our young military men & women
Ken was the 89th soldier from the Global War on Terror to be buried in Section 60. He lies in the second row, with at least 7 more rows in front of him. More than 500 families have buried their loved ones in our National Cemetery.
It wasn't hard to decide that Ken would be buried here, although it took a few months to complete the process. He was killed in May 2004 and buried in October 2004. Ken loved being a soldier and he belonged with his brothers and sisters in arms, where they will lie together in eternity.
We Section 60 families have a bond and while I do not get there as often as I would like, I have forged forever friendships with some of the families that I have met there. It takes me longer to visit Ken these days because I also visit the son's of friends who are buried there, Andy, Neil Jr, Alex, David, Russ. Their families do the same and leave mementos of love when they visit Ken's grave.
HBO is premiering a new documentary, SECTION 60: ARLINGTON MEMORIAL CEMETERY on Monday, October 13, 2008. The third in a trilogy of Iraq-related HBO documentaries (following the Emmy®-winning "Baghdad ER" and the Emmy®-nominated "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq") from Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, the moving verité special SECTION 60: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY commemorates the lives of the deceased and the mourning of their survivors.
Back in May 2006, when HBO premiered Baghdad ER, I wrote here that that film should be mandatory viewing for everyone in the country. I expect the same of this one. We are reluctant voyeurs when we watch this kind of film, but we must witness this human cost of war, what is left behind as families try to find their new normal after this devastating loss. It would be easier to change the channel, but this is one way to honor those families who have left a piece of their heart in Section 60.
There will be tears when you watch this film, but they will be different kinds of tears than were shed while watching Baghdad ER. There will be a palpable feeling of loss and a desire to reach through the lens and offer comfort, but you know that isn't possible and that will be the hardest part in watching this film.