SURPRISE VISIT

Writer's Chance Encounter with Obama

When New York Daily News writer James Meek headed to Arlington National Cemetery to visit the graves of three veterans, he didn't expect to meet the president. But Obama, stopping to lay a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, unexpectedly stopped and visited with many of the grieving relatives and friends who had chosen to visit their loved ones' plots on the rainy holiday. Shaking hands and giving hugs, the president soon found himself, by coincidence, face-to-face with Meek, who was standing at the grave of his friend, Pfc. David Sharrett, who died in Iraq in 2008. "We appreciate his service very much," the president said to Meek, as the first lady told the writer there was "no finer place to be on Veterans Day." "I'm sure the cynics will assume this was just another Obama photo op," writes Meek, but "his presence in Section 60 convinced me that he now carries the heavy burden of command."