Each foam-board headstone has the name, dates, and rank of the dead soldier--so many in their twenties.
As I walked among the thousands of headstones, a van pulled up. The driver told me he was there to let people know about his son, Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in the war. The mother of the dead boy said they had taken their van to Times Square, and Washington, parking as close to the White House as they could. They must have had Alexander when they were young: they themselves were so young. Their son's things were displayed at the back of the van, along with a blue-covered copy of the Constitution. Posted on the door were directions about how to send packages to the troops. "The flag is tattered," the father said, lifting a corner and letting it drop, as if he were examining a pair of trousers that on closer examination he had decided not to buy.