Gifted writer and reporter Robert Poole opens "Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery "with preparations for Memorial Day when thousands of families come to visit those buried in the 624-acre cemetery, legions of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists patrol the streets with fluttering POW flags, and service members place miniature flags before each of Arlington's graves.Read more...
Gifted writer and reporter Robert Poole opens "Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery "with preparations for Memorial Day when thousands of families come to visit those buried in the 624-acre cemetery, legions of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists patrol the streets with fluttering POW flags, and service members place miniature flags before each of Arlington's graves. Section 60, where many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been laid to rest alongside service members from earlier wars, is a fourteen-acre plot that looms far larger in the minds and hearts of Americans. It represents a living, breathing community of fellow members of the military, family members, friends, and loved ones of those who have fallen to the new weapons of war: improvised explosive devices, suicide bombs, and enemies who blend in with local populations. Several of the newest recruits for Section 60 have been brought there by suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder, a war injury newly described but dating to ancient times.
Using this section as a window into the latest wars, Poole recounts stories of courage and sacrifice by fallen heroes, and explores the ways in which soldiers' comrades, friends, and families honor and remember those lost to war-carrying on with life in the aftermath of tragedy. "Section 60" is a moving tribute to those who have fought and died for our country, and to those who love them.
- ISBN-13: 9781620402931
- ISBN-10: 1620402939
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publish Date: October 2014
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-11
- Reviewer: Staff
National Geographic writer Poole (On Hallowed Ground) returns to the subject of his previous book, Arlington National Cemetery, this time focusing on one specific area of the cemetery: Section 60, the burial place for the casualties of America’s most recent conflicts. Poole’s approach is poignant and personal: he retells a number of individual stories of soldiers who lost their lives as a direct or indirect result of serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of war is the thread that ties these tales together, and Poole examines everything from booby traps to friendly fire, from PTSD to POWs/MIAs. Emotional narratives of heroism and valor share space with the voices of those irretrievably damaged by their experiences. The book possesses multiple identities—it’s as much about the people as their final resting place; honoring their sacrifices and condemning the necessity, inevitability, or injustice of their deaths. While book suffers from trying to do too much at once, Poole’s sincerity is never in doubt. As he pieces together his subjects’ last days or considers the intense training and preparation of the honors teams who perform the actual burials, his respect for the military never wavers. An oddly intimate read, this a valuable look at what it costs to serve one’s country. Agent: Gillian MacKenzie, Gillian MacKenzie Agency (Oct.)