Washington, D.C. Part 2 – Arlington Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is a solemn but necessary stop in DC.  You can again take the Metro there so it won’t be too hard to find.  There are a few highlights that you really have to see while you are there.

  1. John F. Kennedy Gravesite also known as the Eternal Flame. He is one of two presidents that are buried in the Arlington Cemetery at the wish of his wife who said “He belongs to the people.”
  2. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As of now it’s actually 3 – “The Unknown of World War I”, “The Unknown of World War II & the Korean War”, and “The Unknown of Vietnam”.   Interesting fact – The Vietnam remains were exhumed when DNA identified the soldier.  The tomb’s inscription now reads “Honoring and Keeping Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975”.
  3. Changing of the Guard.  There are few things I’ve seen in my life that are as moving as this ceremony.  It literally brings a tear to my eye.  I have a video of it below but it doesn’t begin to do it justice.  Now for a few thoughts on etiquette:  1) don’t talk  & stand up if at all possible 2) turn off your cell phone 3) if taking phones or video be respectful and don’t draw attention to yourself 4) don’t get in the way of others who are trying to watch 5) be respectful, use common sense and just be respectful of the soldiers performing the ceremony and those that are buried.
  4. There are a lot of famous people buried here as well, not just military either.  For a full list broken down by their accomplishments, you can go to the “Notable Graves” website.