Arlington National Cemetery / House, Washington D.C.
"...our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life." Albert Einstein
After visiting Arlington National Cemetery, I think the simplicity is what makes it so powerful. To see 260,000 unadorned white tombstones arranged in regular grids over 612 acres of rolling grounds is an "eye opener" to the human cost of war! Sadly, these graves account for only a small percentage of America's war dead.
In addition to the Lawns of graves, the cemetery is also the home of the Tomb of the Unknowns which holds the unknown soldiers from the World War I & II & the Korean Wars. It is guarded 24 hours a day with the changing of the guard ceremony at regular intervals.
Many visitors come here to see the plain black marble stones and the eternal flame that marks the grave of John F. Kennedy. JFK is buried near two of his children who died in infancy and his wife, Jacqueline who was buried in 1994.
These graves are across from a low wall that is engraved with quotations from Kennedy's inaugural address. Nearby is a simple white cross which marks the grave of Robert Kennedy, John Kennedy's brother.
Fondest memory: There is also a Confederate Memorial for 482 Confederate soldiers buried here among thousands of Union soldiers. Recently, the Challenger Shuttle Memorial was created to honor the astronauts who died in the Shuttle explosion of 1986.
Approximately 20 funerals per day are conducted as the graves of veterans continue to multiply. Remember when you are visiting that there are people attending funerals, people hunting for a specific, special tombstone, and people here to honor the fallen soldiers of wars throughout our history.
Be discreet and respectful.
8:00 am-5:00 pm
8:00 am-7:00 pm
Favorite thing: Arlington Cemetery comes to us as a result of the Civil War. The house atop the hill (Arlington House, see my page) was owned by the wife of Robert E. Lee, who commanded the Confederate army, and was responsible for killing more Americans than either Tojo or Hitler. When a Union general lost his son in the war, he brought the body to Arlington and buried his boy in Lee's yard. Other casualties afterwards were buried here in the same manner until the house was no longer usable as a residence. This great national cemetery sits directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
Favorite thing: When so many things in America are given to size, and public conveyances are built strictly for practical rather than aesthetic purposes, it's always nice to see when we've constructed something that is elegant or noble as well as functional or practical. As Americans we all love and are proud of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge and all their massive counterparts, but I feel that the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which connects our fairest monuments and memorials with the greatest residential prospect in America, deserves as much attention as the two centers of Americana that it joins. The approach to Arlington is especially breathtaking.
here it burns the eternal flamr which was lighted during the burial service. At the Arlington Cementary
Fondest memory: La tumba de John F Kennedy donde arde la llama que se encendio el dia de su entierro en el cementerio de Arlington.
Favorite thing: Another must is Arlington Cemetery. This is a HUGE cemetery for those of the armed forces. Anyway, it's in Arlington, VA, right next to Washington. You could even walk to it if you're up for a small hike (we did). Anyway, go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It commemorates those soldiers who died in action, but who could not be identified... and those who were MIA, I believe. The U.S. has their own Changing of the Guard here, periodically... every hour perhaps, or less. It's really a sight to be seen! Highly reccommend this!
During your stay at Washington DC, don't miss a visit to this beautiful and famous cemetery.
It is the largest cemetery in world,but unfortunatelly I didn't had the chance and the time to see it during my days in Washington D.C.(this picture was taken by VT friend Matcrazy1) (matt).
drive down to ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, located just across the Memorial Bridge to view the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and President John F Kennedy & Jacqueline Kennedy's graves.
(P.S. It's not too far from the Lincoln Memorial...).
The photo below shows the Kennedy graves being lighted up by the eternal flame.
If you enter Arlington National Cemetery via Arlington Memorial Bridge from DC, the Women's Memorial is the first thing you see. It's facing straight towards Lincoln Memorial, and has a nice reflecting pool.
Women's role in the battlefield is always an interesting topic. At the Memorial I couldn't stop thinking about the famous American female soldiers in recent events, such as Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England, and their impact to media.
Favorite thing: One of the best places to survey Washington DC is from Robert E Lee Memorial, or called the Arlington House. The House is located on the top of a small hill, giving you a great view towards Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Capitol building, the old Post Office Tower, etc. over the Potomac River, as seen in photo.
Nearly every attraction is free or costs very little. All museums and monuments are free or close to free and are very well kept.
Fondest memory: The Smithsonian Museum was excellent. Probably could spend weeks there just visiting the musuem which covers several extremely large buildings. Arlington National Cemetery is also a 'must see'.
Next to the tomb of the Unknows.
Fondest memory: el anfiteatro del Memorial de Arlington junto a la tumba al soldado desconocido.
Favorite thing: Behind Tomb of the Unknowns you'll find Memorial Amphitheater with U shaped outdoor seating. This is the place to address the public.