Riding the train to Mall of America near Minneapolis. Fort Snelling National Cemetery lies East of the tracks. Outside the windows pass these gravestones. Stark marble markers in the place of heros. Rigid rank and file, monuments on parade in mimic memory of the command to "Attention!"
And there are thousands. Row after row, column upon column, they march into the distance
Until finally, I closed my eyes and listened to the rumble of the train, wheels upon tracks, and to the conversion of a young family seated behind me as they talked about all the fun they will have at the mall. The Mall of America -- found out past the tombstones, beyond the graves of the fallen brave.
The V.A. maintains 138 Cemeteries in 40 states according to www.cem.va.gov. Fort Snelling is not the largest.