Gifted writer and reporter Robert Poole opens Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery with preparations for Memorial Day when thousands of families come to visit those buried in the 624-acre cemetery, legions of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists patrol the streets with fluttering POW flags, and service members place miniature flags before each of Arlington's graves. Section 60, where many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been laid to rest alongside service members from earlier wars, is a fourteen-acre plot that looms far larger in the minds and hearts of Americans. It represents a living, breathing community of fellow members of the military, family members, friends, and loved ones of those who have fallen to the new weapons of war: improvised explosive devices, suicide bombs, and enemies who blend in with local populations. Several of the newest recruits for Section 60 have been brought there by suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder, a war injury newly described but dating to ancient times. Using this section as a window into the latest wars, Poole recounts stories of courage and sacrifice by fallen heroes, and explores the ways in which soldiers' comrades, friends, and families honor and remember those lost to war--carrying on with life in the aftermath of tragedy. Section 60 is a moving tribute to those who have fought and died for our country, and to those who love them.
Robert M. Poole is former executive editor of National Geographic and author of Explorers House, which was a holiday pick for Barnes & Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" series in 2004. He is a contributing editor at Smithsonian and a contract writer for National Geographic. Poole has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Preservation. Robert M. Poole is a writer and editor whose work for National Geographic, Smithsonian, and other magazines has taken him around the world. His last book, On Hallowed Ground, earned wide critical acclaim and was one of the Washington Post's Best Books of 2009. Poole, former executive editor of National Geographic, lives in Vermont.
A vivid, badly-needed reminder of the terrible price being paid by too many members of our all-volunteer armed forces and the families that have to struggle on without them.
Geoffrey C. Ward, author of THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY
Lovely, heartfelt and haunting.
The Washington Post - John A. Nagl
Momentous and moving . . . Powerful stories of family members and comrades in heart-rending prose.
Poole's approach is poignant and personal . . . a valuable look at what it costs to serve one's country.