Tuesday, February 1, 2011

On Hallowed Ground, by Robert M. Poole

Every page an inspiration

On Hallowed Ground, by Robert M. Poole, bestows upon readers deep emotions and realizations that will be ingrained forever. Poole begins with informing readers of the history of Arlington National Cemetery: Robert E. Lee owned Arlington, Virginia’s plantation during the Civil War. Even if one is versed in this era of history, something new is learned in every chapter. For example: the year Taps became official, appearing in the U.S. Army Infantry Drill Regulations in 1891.

Not all the history of Arlington makes us proud. Poole tells many stories from the Civil War to present day. The reader needs to keep in mind the time frame to empathize with decisions made. Poole is thorough and the facts complete the reader’s prior knowledge.

Poole states there are more than 300,000 bodies buried at Arlington. Millions of visitors have experienced the ceremonies conducted on the grounds over time. Even if one has not personally lost a loved one in a war, the visit is emotionally draining. Pondering over those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, while standing on the sacred grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, is what Poole describes with such inspirational storytelling expertise.

I recommend this book for every American. I think young adults would benefit from a parent reading it to them. I feel obligated to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. I did not feel as strongly about making this trip before reading On Hallowed Ground. Robert. M. Poole has heightened my awareness to experience this in my lifetime with hopes Arlington will never run out of space.

Book review by Mary Crocco

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