By Javaria Abbasi, AIA Program Analyst
Arlington National Cemetery, VA — Members from the Muslim American Veterans Association (MAVA), the Boy Scouts of America, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), Masjid Muhammad – the Nations Mosque, the Dar al Noor Islamic Community Center and the Alliance for an Indivisible America (AIA 2020) gathered Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery to memorialize those who gave their lives in service of their country.
“We are deeply grateful to our veterans,” said Executive Director of AIA 2020, Robert Marro, who is also a veteran. “AIA 2020 coordinated this event to remember, to contemplate the magnitude of the sacrifices made by everyone – non-Muslim and Muslim alike. We wanted to show that American Muslims stand in solidarity with families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.”
The Muslim veterans, representing all branches of the service, included a former paratrooper who served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam in 1967 and with the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg in 1968, and a Bronze Star awardee who served with the US Army in Iraq. All the American Muslim veterans noted their great pride in having been part of a long tradition of service to America.
The group placed flowers on headstones, paid their respects to others visiting the National Cemetery and offered prayers led by Stanley Mahdi, Commander, MAVA Post#1 Washington, at grave sites of the fallen, including the grave of Staff Sergeant Ayman A. Taha, a member of the ADAMS congregation who was killed in Iraq in 2006 while preparing a munitions cache.
“We felt a strong and special spirit here in Arlington. Our hope and prayer is that that spirit grows stronger everyday and is felt everywhere across our great country,” said Lyndon Bilal, National Commander of MAVA.
For more information please contact Robert J. Marro at (703) 309-6726 or firstname.lastname@example.org