Generations of service trace back to Arlington

As the National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery comes to a close, veterans and active members in duty remember their military experiences and heritage.

By Beverly Kwakye

Marine Corps veteran James White Jr., bends close to the Arlington Cemetery graves with his nephew veteran Marine Corps Sgt. Larry White. The two read the identification numbers behind each tombstone searching for the gravesite of Larry White’s great-grandfather.

Photo credit: Beverly Kwakye

Photo credit: Beverly Kwakye

The Whites are two of the many veterans who have come to pay their respects to fallen brothers in arms and remember their days of service. White Jr. said that Veterans Day is about “celebrating the veterans that served.”

White Jr. said he cannot pinpoint specific memories from his service because “there’s a whole lot of memories, there’s quite a few of them.” What he does recall, though, is pulling up to Pearl Harbor.  

Having served in the Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959 as a corporal, White Jr. said he perceives the respect level for veterans as different today, compared to his years in service.

“I think I got treated better than the ones are getting treated now,” White Jr. said.

The Marine Corps prepared Larry White for a variety of everyday situations, such as working with a diverse group of people, he said. This experience opened his eyes to the world around him.

“So it kind of molded me and gave me an experience that showed me there’s more to life than just growing up, going to school, things like that,” Larry White said. “There are other things that are going on throughout the world that you’re going to have to be a part of.”