Section 60, sometimes referred to as “the saddest acre in America,” is the area of Arlington National Cemetery where U.S. servicemen and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest. On Memorial Day, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine General whose son was killed in Afghanistan in November of 2010, joined Jim and Alison Malachowski at the grave of their son, Marine Staff Sergeant Jimmy Malachowski, who was also killed in action in Afghanistan.
Not only did Alison Malachowski serve in the Marine Corps herself, but she is also the mother of a currently-serving U.S. Army Captain.
Meyer Greenbaum, of Greenbaum’s Monuments in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, provided a slab of Jerusalem stone for the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery.
A. Mark Neuman, whose late father, Rabbi Isaac Neuman, survived four years in Nazi slave labor camps and was liberated by U.S. Troops in Austria in May of 1945, coordinated the visit to graves of the Jewish fallen at Section 60.
Rabbi Aaron Miller of Washington Hebrew Congregation accompanied Neuman. Steven Jacober, the congregation’s executive director, also joined the group. Jacober has two sons currently serving as officers in the U.S. Armed Forces, including a son serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Rabbi Miller recited prayers with families of the fallen, and placed inscribed stones at a number of grave-sites of Jewish fallen servicemen. There are 12 Jewish fallen buried at Section 60.
The inscription on the piece of Jerusalem stone placed on top of the headstone were the initials representing the first letters of each word in the Hebrew prayer “May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life.” The passage (Abigail’s prayer for David) is taken from the first book of Samuel (25:29).
On Memorial Day, “we remember those who gave their lives in service to our country and honor their memory,” said Neuman. “It is important that we reach out and comfort the families of the fallen — they will always occupy a special place in our hearts.”