Memorial Day 2013: Honoring the fallen at Arlington National Cemetery
Memorial Day meant Falls Church mother Xiomara Mena was at Arlington National Cemetery on a Monday.
Every Saturday and Sunday for seven years, she walks between the white stone markers for her son, 24-year-old corporal Andy Dee Anderson.
“I have my good days and my bad days,” she says. “It hurts a lot."
Her son was killed in a mortar attack in Ramadi on June 6, 2006.
"We don't have regrets - he loved what he was doing he was happy," she says.
Mena was surrounded by many on Memorial Day who gathered once again to remember their loved ones and to pay tribute to the men and who made the ultimate sacrifice. They came from near and far and included spouses, families even a former babysitter.
“He was a little sweetheart just love him to pieces and miss him so much," says former babysitter Lorraine Pelland, who was weeping.
Those tears fell for 22-year-old corporal Nicholas Rapavi of Springfield, Va. Several rows back, a wife slept across her husband's grave.
“It is painful you see all of these tombs and they are still digging up more,” says Laureen Lopez-Berry.
But just as painful, there were smiles
‘I keep his grave fresh with fresh flowers because that is the way he always to look with a fresh haircut," Mena says.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.