Barbie Forbord Groome took her 10-year-old son, Darren, to the Florida National Cemetery, it turned out to be an incredible teaching moment. The Withlacoochee State Forest, has been owned by the federal government since 1936, although it dates all the way back to the Armed Occupation Act of 1842. The Florida National Cemetery covers 5,012 acres in Bushnell, Florida, and marks the resting place for over 129,000 veterans. In 1988, internments beganand include veterans from the second world war onward.
Darren Groome’s own great uncle and great grandfather, both World War II veterans, are laid to rest there.
Barbie Forbord Groome used the visit to teach her son exactly what the thousands of burial markers stand for and what it means for these men and women to have served their country.
It was an important moment for her son, and Darren, was particularly impressed.
Darren has a hearing disability and communicates by sign language. When he was leaving the cemetery, he lifted his hand and, in American Sign Language, said “I love you” to the veterans.
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