It’s occasionally good to be reminded that for much of this country, the word “Arlington” refers only to Arlington National Cemetery, and military loss. Here is a new song and video called “Arlington” by singer-songwriter Lisa Nemzo and lyricist Artie Colatrella, about the cemetery’s lasting presence in the lives of the families of fallen American soldiers. If you watch it, you won’t soon forget it.
Nemzo plays Teresa Arciola, whose son, Pfc. Michael A. Arciola, was 20 when he died in Iraq in 2005. Teresa Arciola drives about six hours down to Arlington from Elmsford, N.Y., every other month, one of many such visitors to Section 60. Her story was captured quite vividly in an Oprah Winfrey special last year, and you can see that segment here.
Nemzo and Colatrella wrote the song after learning about Teresa Arciola, and the video was directed by Mary Ann Skweres. It was released April 24. Nemzo hopes to encourage people to donate to two charities which help those scarred by war: Global Stress Initiative, which focuses on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for both soldiers and families, and Operation Warrior Wellness, a David Lynch Foundation project which uses transcendental meditation to treat PTSD.
It’s hard for us to hear someone sing, “Oh, Arlington/The saddest acre in our nation/Oh, Arlington/Never a destination,” because we don’t like to think that the cemetery defines a vibrant county. And it doesn’t. But the word is a symbol of sorrow to so many. This song and video honor that, and is trying to help those who struggle forward.