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By Robert M. Poole

Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery is a powerful contemporary biography of a five-acre plot where many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been laid to rest alongside service members from earlier wars.

Gifted writer and reporter Robert Poole opens the story with preparations for Memorial Day, Arlington's biggest event, when thousands of families come to visit those buried in the 624-acre cemetery, legions of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists patrol the streets with fluttering POW flags, and service members place miniature flags before each of Arlington's graves. What emerges is a portrait of our national cemetery as a living, breathing community and a narrative about how improvised explosive devices, suicide bombs, and enemies who blend in with local populations have changed the nature and aftermath of conflict. Several of the newest recruits for Section 60 have been brought there by suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder, a war injury newly described but dating to ancient times.

Using Section 60 as a window into the latest wars, Poole recounts stories of courage and sacrifice by fallen heroes, and he explores the ways in which soldiers' comrades, friends, and families honor and remember those lost to war—carrying on with life in the aftermath of wartime tragedy. Section 60 is a moving tribute to those who have fought and died for our country and to those who love them.

256 pages, Hardcover, 978-1620402931, Bloomsbury USA, 2014.

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