The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is nearing its 100th birthday. On March 4, 1921, the U.S. Congress approved the burial of an unidentified service member in the plaza of what was, at the time, the newly constructed Memorial Amphitheater on those hallowed grounds.
The unknown soldier brought back from France was interred below a three-level marble tomb eight months later. The site is located just minutes from our Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) National Headquarters.
The magnitude of this ultimate sacrifice, for whom not even identification of remains was possible at the time, is at least in part what Memorial Day is about. We remember that unknown, unidentified soldier as well as the hundreds of thousands of others who have, in uniform, given their lives in defense of our freedoms.
As this year’s Memorial Day approaches, we solemnly and gratefully recognize these ultimate sacrifices. At the same time, we acknowledge the men and women, past and present, who have been willing to step forward and, at all costs, swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws against all enemies.
As BVA’s Executive Director, I have the privilege of associating daily with a most unique group of men and women who were willing to do just that. Although they returned home, many of them did so after sacrificing their precious sight. If that were not enough sacrifice, many of them now sacrifice their time, energies, and means to serve their fellow blinded veterans with uplifting counsel, encouragement, and direction, and to promote the interests of the organization that represents them.
Much of this service is possible because of your help and support. Since BVA is a 501(c)(3) Veterans Service Organization, we receive no financial support from any government entity. BVA relies almost exclusively on the generosity of those who hold a special place in their heart for America’s blinded veterans and their families. We are depending on that support and generosity more now than possibly ever before.
Please consider making a donation to BVA in any amount you can by clicking here during this week leading up to Memorial Day. It would mean so much to those who have been willing to sacrifice so much for the freedoms of all Americans.
With sincere gratitude,
Donald D. Overton, Jr.
Blinded Veterans Association