This is the post that grandma has been waiting for. 🙂
It was really easy to get to Arlington Cemetery from our hotel and Getting Around in DC. We basically took the red line from Woodley Park to Metro Center and then transferred to the blue line from there, which drops us off directly at Arlington Cemetery. Easy peasy.
The cemetery is open until 7 PM but we both made a mental note to return before peak so that we could take advantage of the lower fares. Sad, but true.
Here are some of our favorite photos from Arlington Cemetery.
The structure that you see in the distance is the Arlington House. I have a separate blog about that. For now, here’s a picture of the Kennedys’ gravesite.
It’s one of the highlights of every tour of Arlington National Cemetery.
This is the outdoor amphitheater next to the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers.
The Tomb of Unknown Soldiers is guarded by a soldier 24 hours a day, through rain, sleet, or snow. There’s always someone there marching back and forth with incredible precision. We witnessed a “changing of the guard” ceremony while we were there so we got to watch at least a couple of soldiers march back and forth.
The soldiers moved exactly the same way. The soldiers’ footsteps are so precise that their feet land on the exact markings where the heels of soldiers that have gone before them have worn down the ground.
The well-timed clickity clack of their boots on the pavement reminded me of a metronome. Nothing phased the stoic soldiers as they each completed their shift. Their movements so precise and mechanical that they almost didn’t seem human. They looked like wind-up toy soldiers.
Here are some pictures from the “changing of the guard” ceremony that we had the good fortune to witness while we were there.
The inspector walks around the new soldier and checks him from head to toe.
The inspector makes sure that nothing is out of place and fixes the soldier’s hat and everything using the same precise movements.
We also got to watch a “wreath laying” ceremony while we were there. Brian got great video of it. I didn’t get to take any pictures, though.
Both of the ceremonies we witnessed were solemn events. There was a huge crowd around but as soon as each ceremony began everyone fell silent. I can try to describe it and show you guys pictures but it’s not the same. These are the types of ceremonies that you just have to watch for yourself because, beyond the beauty and artistry of it all, there’s so much emotion involved.
Arlington National Cemetery definitely tops my list of things to see and do while you’re in Washington DC. With the station just outside the gates, there is no excuse to miss it. Next up, I will share some pictures of the Arlington House. Come back soon.