And so it begins: The 3rd Annual Field School takes on Arlington National Cemetery

Today is the official opening of the field school.  The first week students will be in training with the ethnographic fieldworkers and archivists from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  Then they’ll spend three weeks embedded at Arlington Cemetery, shadowing workers from all areas of the field.

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One thought on “And so it begins: The 3rd Annual Field School takes on Arlington National Cemetery

  1. John A. Bartelloni

    Cemeteries and libraries can reveal so much about the communities they serve. On Wednesday, May 22, I found myself in Leesburg and headed to the Rust Memorial Library. I parked the bus near Union Cemetery (est.1851) and perused the graves. I was touched by a woman whose two children lived only briefly. One had only a date of birth (stillborn, perhaps?) and the other’s date of death was less than a week after her birth.

    Another grave of distinction was that of a man who had served from 1963-1989 in the Arlington Police Department. Afterwards he was an instructor at the Northern Virginia Police Academy where my friends TTG and MG studied as rookie cops. T became a highly respected detective specializing in sex crimes while M is now an assistant police chief in a small Northern Virginia City. For years she has warned me, “Bart, you know I am going to lock you up one day. I’ll get you.”

    Sorry, Kid. It ain’t going to happen.

    One man had been an avid deer hunter and his gravestone showed a deer leaping through a meadow. He has been dead now for more than a decade, but his friends haven’t forgotten him or his love of the outdoors. A buddy left the four point rack of a spike atop his gravestone.

    In Brad Paisley’s “Waiting on a Woman,” an older man tells a younger fellow, “The man’s always the first to go.”
    That’s just what happened in the case of a Loudoun couple. The husband, an M.D. just six years older than his wife, died twenty years before she did.

    I guess he really was waiting on his woman.

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