Results 11-20of 22 Reviews
January 9, 2007
From journal The Nation's Capitol on a Budget
Lake Forest, California
November 20, 2006
From journal Washington, D.C.
August 26, 2006
From journal Washington D.C.
July 1, 2005
Tourmobile offers a get-on/get-off service for a fee of $6 (adults). If you have already walked a great deal, it’s a good idea. Distances can be greater than you realize, since roads are winding in the cemetery. The Tourmobile stops at the Kennedy gravesite, the Amphitheater/Tomb of the Unknowns, and Arlington House, former home of General Robert E. Lee, whose plantation became the cemetery. Be sure to pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknowns; the inspiring changing of the guard takes place every half-hour in summer and every hour in winter. When the cemetery closes to the public at 7pm, the Honor Guard continues 24/7, 365 days a year, even in the most inclement of weathers. Stop off too at Audie Murphy's (WWII’s most decorated soldier) and Chip Burlingame's graves. Capt. Burlingame was the pilot of the jet that crashed into the Pentagon. Leave a pebble atop their stones. Pause at stones dedicated to the lost crew of the Challenger, Columbia, and failed Iranian hostage rescue team. Do not fail to see Robert F. Kennedy's simple white wooden cross a short distance from JFK, Jackie, little Patrick, and a stillborn daughter resting underneath the eternal flame.
From journal An Eight-Day Vacation in Washington, D.C.
by Amber Autumn
May 11, 2005
Rows of white tombstones decorate the hillside lawns of this cemetery. During the Civil War, this was a burial ground for Union soldiers. Want to know something amusing? The land belonged to Mary Anna Randolph Custis, inherited from her relatives George and Martha Washington. The name might not sound familiar, but she was the wife of Confederate Major General Robert E. Lee. What better way to insult a Confederate General by burying Union soldiers on his wife's land?
Up the hill is a house, and once you make it up to the house, you can see the eternal flame and more rows of tombstones. When walking to the marble amphitheater, be forewarned that the cemetery is made up of hills and hills of tombstones and different types of architectural tombs. There was a man with a gun pacing a thin strip on the ground near a marble tomb. Twenty-one steps and pauses symbolize the 21-gun salute that is the highest of military honors.
My class and I watched the Changing of the Guard and gave a wreath to put in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The person inside is where a mystery man "rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God," as engraved on the tomb.
From journal Sightseeing in the Nation's Capitol
sorrento, undefined, Australia
March 12, 2005
If you want to get a sense of what makes America tick, you'll find it here at Arlington. George Washington's stepson bought the site in 1778, and his son built gracious Arlington house there in the early 1800s. Robert E. Lee married into the family here in 1831, but the Lees later fled when Civil War broke out. In 1864, the property was confiscated by the Union Army, which began the tradition of burying the dead - on the former front lawn. Today more than 260,000 U.S. service men and women are buried here.
Arlington National Cemetery covers 200 acres of rolling hills, graced with beautiful old trees and manicured lawns, but it is the rows and rows and rows of simple white crosses that stay with you long after you head back home.
Everyone has seen pictures of Arlington on television and in the press, but the reality is something else. Visitors treat Arlington with respect, and so they should. This is no historic, mothballed site - it is still in daily use, as a small patch of newly dug graves and fresh flowers placed by recent mourners proved when we visited in late February.
Right at the heart of the cemetery is the haunting Tomb of the Unknowns, scene of a timeless ritual that in any other location would look like mesmerising street theatre - the changing of the guard, performed on the hour by clone-like soldiers sporting immaculate uniforms and impossibly polished shoes.
It's a fair hike up the hill from the visitor's centre to the Tomb, but it's well worth the effort. Leave time to catch your breath before the ceremony begins because you'll find yourself holding your breath while it's under way. For me the changing of the guard was a graphic insight into America's sense of self and place in the world - and about as far away as you can get from junk food and TV sitcoms.
On a different note, but still just as important to the American psyche, Arlington is also the resting place of several Kennedys. Robert F. Kennedy rests under the cemetery's only wooden cross, while nearby under the Everlasting Flame, you'll find the tombs of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
Arlington National Cemetery can be reached easily by Metrorail (on the blue line) and is obviously a major stop for every tour offered around town. It is open from 8am to 5pm every day from October to March and 8am to 7pm from April to September. There is no entry fee.
If you're feeling fit, you can walk from Arlington across the Potomac River, around the impressive Lincoln Memorial to the nation's other important war memorials (honouring veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War). It's about a 40-minute walk, but after Arlington, you might like the time for quiet reflection.
From journal Washington in a Week
Charlotte, North Carolina
January 13, 2005
Arlington is most noted for the rows upon rows of white tombstones and the Iowa Jima statues, but there are several other interesting things here. Moat notably is the eternal flame at the graves of John Kennedy and his wife, Jackie. Right across from their grave is an awesome view of D.C. There is also the Arlington House that was dedicated to the great Robert E. Lee, which is open to the public and offers tours. There is a memorial to the crew of the Challenger shuttle. Boxer Joe Lewis is buried here as well as President Taft. Pierre L’Efant is here. Section 27 is dedicated to the US Colored Troops. If you are here over Memorial Day or Presidents’ Day, you will get to see presidential wreaths presented.
From journal Summer fun in D.C.
July 18, 2004
During this visit, my husband's grandfather was with us. He, too, served his country in WWII. A Battle of the Bulge veteran, he wanted to see the changing of the guard. So we went to the Visitor's Center and purchased tickets on the Tourmobile to ride to the site. (Cars are not allowed into the cemetery unless you are visiting a family member's grave.) My husband's grandmother is in a wheelchair, and the tourmobiles have electric lifts that can easily lift a person and chair into the trolley-like cars so handicap visitors will not have any problems. The tourmobiles make three stops--The JFK Grave, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Arlington House. You can get on and off at will. The Changing of the Guard is every half hour in the warmer months, every hour in the cooler seasons. The Arlington House, once the home of General Robert E. Lee who was married to a descendant of George Washington, closes at 4 PM.
At one point in the tour, my husband, son, and I took the opportunity to leave the throngs of tourists and walk the Arlington Grounds to the grave marker that matters the most to my family. I had flowers for not only my grandfather, but for my grandmother who was buried with him in 2000. On the back of my grandfather's tombstone is my Granny's name and one epitaph: His Wife. This is the same for most of the military spouses who rest here. While my grandmother was so many other things to me than his wife, this gave pause for thought. I do not believe a man or woman is ever in the military alone. Their family also has a role to serve... a role that is not easy. Spouses worry, cry, pray, and mourn as they hold down the homefront.... If they are anything like my own grandmother, they have hearts of gold.... and spines of steel. We left our flowers and quietly walked back to the rest of the people in our party.
I believe a visit to Arlington is a must for any American who does not understand the sacrifices the individuals in this country have made for freedom. Each of the stones are perfectly aligned in military order. But each of the names on those stones belongs to a real person who once claimed their own dreams, hopes, fears, and deeds. I imagine each of the names on those stones also represents someone's best hero....
From journal Washington DC with a WWII Veteran
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
May 28, 2004
From journal Washington, DC 2003
Montgomery City, Missouri
April 13, 2003
I visited John Kennedy's grave and read his words encircling the area. Although I was just a young child at his death, I remember the impact on the adults around me. Then I went over the Robert Kennedy's very simple grave marking and wept. I took the long slow walk up to the Tomb of the Unknown and watched in silence with a full crowd the changing of the guard. Although most of my visit to DC was filled with excitement and joy, this place was filled with respect and reverance and I'm glad I experienced it.
From journal Lifetime Learning in D.C.