Just another morning in Westwood

Posted on January 12th, 2009 at 6:04 am by LisaNewton

Don’t let the caption above fool you—although I rode my bike to Westwood this morning to enjoy its splendor and interesting sites—there was nothing “normal” about today.

For starters, I encountered the dichotomy of a rare military funeral at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, and on the other side of the street, an anti-terrorist demonstration in front of the Federal Building.

Whatever side of the current conflict you may be on—there is no dispute as to encountering our enduring nation’s fight for freedom and Israel’s.

But I digress. The Los Angeles National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery in West Los Angeles at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard. The cemetery was dedicated in 1889. Interred there are war veterans, from the Spanish-American war, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and other American conflicts.

Two unique features of the Los Angeles National Cemetery are its indoor columbarium, a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e. urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains) and two unusual canine burials, although this practice is prohibited today. Old Bonus, an adopted pet of residents in the soldiers’ home, and Blackout, a war dog wounded in the Pacific during World War II, are both buried here.

Across the street from the National Cemetery is the Federal Building, which is the backdrop for these kids waving flags at an an anti-terrorist demonstration. Obviously, this conflict has inspired a plethora of passion plays and emotions from many.

I just happened to stumble upon it this morning. In a way I’m glad that I did; albeit I had no clue that I would encounter both a funeral ceremony at the National Cemetery and a war demonstration.

Nevertheless the images are all beautiful and full of wisdom, grace in their celebration of life and death.

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