Every Memorial Day weekend since 1995, on Saturday night, the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts place 15,300 luminaries throughout the cemetery (one candle per burial), and guides are stationed throughout the cemetery to tell stories of some of the men who are buried there.
Most of the graves of the unknown contain more than one soldier. Two candles are placed on each grave, with others along the paths, to make up the Luminaria's 15,300 candles.
The hill which contains the cemetery is terraced, with burials on each level. We arrived at dusk.
As we reached the top of the hill, we saw an overwhelming panorama of candles. To experience the full effect of this scene, we would have to wait a bit for the sun to set and the sky to darken.
There were scouts assigned to relight any candles that went out.
As the sun set, the sea of candles created an incredible moving scene.
Every 30 minutes, a bugler on top of the hill played 'Taps'. These two older men were standing with their hands over their hearts.
As an Army brat, scenes like this always make me cry. Though these men lived and died so long ago, I can't help but think about how each of them was someone's husband, or son, or brother.
As darkness fell, the hub-bub of visitors and guides faded into the night. All we noticed were the candles ... which is as it should be.