Section 60: Arlington

From the Antelope Freeway archive, in honor of Veterans Day
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Jessica Gray, with her infant daughter, Ava, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to visit the grave of her husband, Staff Sgt. Yance T. Gray.

My father died in WW2 when I was about the age of the child in this photo.

While I can only begin to imagine the things this woman (whose husband died in Iraq) is feeling at this moment, I'm sure that my mother, were she still alive, and this young war widow would have bonded across the decades that separated them by age.

The HBO documentary "Section 60" (which refers to the section of Arlington National Cemetary where the Iraq and Afghanistan war dead are eligible to be buried) provides us with a rare look at the many dimensions of the human toll this current war has taken, and it reinforces how detached most of us are from the reality of that war.

I'm not a subscriber to the theory that we have to have the horrors of war thrust in our faces all the time. But I think every American should see this astonishing film, made with respect and concern for the people it depicts, and for the people who watch it.

The film is not political. While it overpowers you with sadness at times, it ultimately affirms the persistence of love, and the magnificence of the human spirit.