The nation watched and mourned when the president of the United States, the youngest ever, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 25, 1963, his term in office cut short by an assassin's bullet.
John F. Kennedy, born May 29, 1917, served just two years, 10 months and two days as president, yet his grave remains among the most visited locations at Arlington. Two children who died in their infancy are interred beside him, as is his widowed first lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Robert F. Kennedy, to whom the family's political torch had passed, is buried nearby, also the victim of an assassin, killed in 1968 while seeking the high office of president.
At the site they also have an enternal flame burning. As I was walking up the hill to this location of the cemetary everyone was heading to the same spot. Once you get there there are lots of his famous quotes. http://www.jfklibrary.org
Fort Meyer, along with Arlington Cemetery, was once part of the estate of George Washington's heirs. Just before the Civil War, Robert E. Lee married into the family and took ownership of this plantation. When the war began, the US government confiscated these lands for military purposes; this was one of many sites used for the ring of forts that defended the capital city. After the Civil War, this became a major signal corps installation, then a cavalry headquarters.
A significant portion of the north end of the post is designated as a historical area, as many of the buildings here, mostly large general officers' quarters, were constructed between 1895 and 1908. The most famous is called Quarters One; built in 1899 it has been home to the Chief of Staff of the Army, including Generals George C. Marshall, Omar N. Bradley, Douglas MacArthur and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
This post is also the site of the the first military aircraft flight, when in 1908 Orville Wright flew for over a minute in one flight, then crashed his aircraft the second time it was off the ground. Wright survived, but his passenger, Lt Selfridge, was killed, become the military's first death in powered flight.
My favourite thing about Arlington is a visit to Arlington Cemetery which I described in my Must See Activities tips. To be honest it was the only well known tourist attraction to visit and explore in Arlington county.
The Pentagon, one of the world's largest office building and headquarters of the Department of Defense, is an attraction to see, not to visit, at least for individual visitors. Tours of the Pentagon are available to schools, educational organizations and other select groups (what about VT groups?) by reservation only. Lucky me, living in tall buiding of Sheraton National hotel, I saw this huge building and panorama of both Arlington and Washington, DC day and night.
Another tourist attraction is Fort Myer which I described in my Off The Beaten Path tips.
WASHINGTON DC AND MOUNT VERNON
Another great attractions were surely my visits to nearby US capital - Washington, DC and lovely and relaxing Mount Vernon - home of US first president George Washington where he spent most of his life. Simply a must see.
Look at The list of world-famous sites located in Arlington. Well, next time I would eventually visit:
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and Visitors Center
- The Arlington Historical Museum THE BEST OF ARLINGTON
My foundest memory of Arlington is deeply concerned with great VT-friends I met in Arlington. Let me desribe our VT gang Arlington's adventures in the next tips, nightlife tips and in the travelogues.
Murals which are almost good enough to eat
Just like in Washington, DC's Adams-Morgan, artsy areas of Arlington often feature murals, often painted by local artists, to add some colour to otherwise barren walls. This one, on the side of Pica Deli on Washington Boulevard near the George Mason University law campus, was almost good enough to eat with the coffee and cinnamon buns. I didn't have time to go in (otherwise this would be a restaurant tip), but the mural was so well done, it was dessert for the eye.
Very few pedestrians
This picture was taken in the heart of Rosslyn - commecial and transportation center of Arlington County on weekday just after 8.00 am that is in rush hours. Difficult to believe looking at almost empty wide sidewalk.
Well, at this moment, I discovered again that the USA is a car country with very few pedestrians. The multi-story metro-operated parking lot is located at the same building as the metro station thus drivers are not forced to get outside. Those who arrive by metrobuses or shuttles (like me) get off just in front of the metro entrance and immediatelly vanish inside.
What a contrast with European larger old towns when sidewalks are usually too narrow and full of fast walking folks in rush hours.