on September 8, 2011
The Land that Arlington National Cemetery is located once belonged to the family of General Robert E. Lee. After the Civil War the property was auctioned off and bought by the US government. The Mansion and the two hundred acres surrounding it were designated officially as a military cemetery June 15, 1864, by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Over 300,000 people are buried at Arlington Cemetery including some famous names such as JFK, RFK, and Ted Kennedy. There are various memorials throughout the cemetery such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Challenger Memorial and the Columbia Memorial. Arlington is a good way to see how so many have served and died for this country. The mood here is somber of course and you will always see veterans and servicemen paying their respects to fallen comrades.Our last visit to Arlington was a beautiful spring day. There were many Airforce, Navy, Marine and Army veterans present for the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. As a former Navy man I always find it interesting to see the graves of those who served their country during peace and especially during war times. Several; head stones have multiple war services for the individual such as soldiers serving in both WWII and Korea or Korea and Vietnam. When visiting Arlington National Cemetery; remember it is a cemetery. Be respectful and don't try to climb or invade the grave/tomb spaces. Be silent or speak in low tones when in areas of mourning such as the JFK Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Remember this is an active cemetery and somewhere everyday there is a soldier buried here.During our last visit several guardsmen had to remind visitors to be silent or not to touch or climb memorials. People just do not respect rules anymore....Yes, Arlington is full of tourists and it's fine to take pictures but do be respectful; these are graves and monuments in a cemetery; not Disney World.
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