We went to Arlington National Cemetery and were lucky enough to go on the last day of the Faces of the Fallen memorial. It was a collection of portraits from 200 different artists of the first 1,300 service members who died during OIF/OEF. This. Was. Heartbreaking.
There were two faces that stuck out to me, and even now years later I can remember them. One was an eighteen year old girl. She enlisted right out of high school and died eighteen days after her boots hit the soil overseas. Her portrait stuck out to me for two reasons. 1) I was sixteen. She was two years older than me, and she gave everything. 2) Her portrait was in her cap and gown. It really drove home how young she was. I still think about her on occasion and wonder what she would have accomplished in her life. The second was a marine in his mid thirties, he stuck out not because of his portrait, but because of the picture and the note left on it. There was a picture of newborn twins with a note that said "I'm so sorry you never got to meet them, you would have been a great father, I know you're watching over us." I lost it. I cried so hard I had to walk out of the memorial because I just couldn't stop. His babies cross my mind from time to time too, they're preteens now. I couldn't imagine growing up without my father, and it absolutely breaks my heart that they had to.
The second memory took me quite some time to find a picture because I couldn't remember what it was called. Across the street from the World Trade Center is the Subway. Along the walls of the stations are hundred of these:
What's the best memorial that you've ever been to?