Veteran’s Day is sure to bring mourners and in particular, tourists,  to  Arlington’s National Cemetery While and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, except an area known as Section 60.   Not as many tourists visit this area of the cemetery as these are veterans who have more recently been buried.

Veteran U.S. Army Sgt. David Brown wrote on his Facebook that he was visiting Arlington National Cemetery where two of his friends are buried, one of whom “hardened me into a soldier,” and the other “helped soften me into a leader.”

Posted by David Brown on Saturday, November 11, 2017

“Far away from cameras and fanfare,” Brown said he saw a “lone man” who he later realized was Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis. He was surprised to see him at Section 60. IJR reported that he said after being surprised to see him, he said,  “I can’t imagine anywhere else he’d be on Veterans Day.”

The story was shared of an older man wearing a Marine Corps hat and sweatshirt  , approached Mattis, shook his hand, and called it an “honor” to meet him. While the father was moved to see him, he clarified to Mattis, “I know that’s just the kind of man you are.” This man had also told Mattis that he was his son’s hero, where Mattis smiled and said that he was one of his heroes.

Brown said the man and Mattis took some photographs and chatted for a while before the father said,  “I’m so glad I got to meet you here. My son would have loved this.”

Brown too went to greet Mattis.  He told Mattis that he was visiting with two of his friends and said it was not the same as losing a family member, then he said, “Mattis stopped me by putting a hand on my shoulder and said, ‘It’s important that we remember everyone, however, we knew them,’” Brown.


This morning, I visited a quiet, out-of-the-way plot of Arlington National Cemetery known as Section 60. Being Veterans…

Posted by David Brown on Saturday, November 11, 2017

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