Family Members of Fallen Gather for Support in Arlington

Sunday, May 29, 2011  |  Updated 11:40 AM EDT
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Flags Placed at Arlington National Cemetery

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Survivors of service members who gave their lives have gathered for the "Good Grief" camp in Arlington.

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Not too far from the growling of motorcycles Sunday, a quieter memorial to the nation's soldiers is being held in Arlington.

The children and family members of the soldiers who gave their lives in America's conflicts have gathered to support each other through the bereavement process.

For the 17th year, the National Military Survivors Seminar and Good Grief Camp has gathered to help military families cope with their losses.

In sessions held at a Crystal City hotel, survivors are encouraged to keep close ties with their deceased parents by talking about them and honoring them.  TAPS, the group that organizes the event, said that children who have lost parents will likely grieve throughout their lifetimes.

"What we're trying to give them is the ability basically to grow up and cope as this comes up," said Ami Neiberger-Miller, from TAPS, to the Associated Press.  "It will come back for a child when they hit major milestones like when they graduate, learn to drive or get married."

In addition to survivors of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, children of those killed in the September 11 attacks are also attending.

"You just do what you can to keep the memory alive," said Zach Laychak, 19, from Manassas.  His father was killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  "And you just be there for other people, and you just hope this isn't something everyone has to deal with."
 

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