We ended the day at Arlington National Cemetery, our nation's most hallowed ground. If you have ever visited here, you know it is huge: over 600 acres. You need to be in great physical shape if you plan to walk through it. Note the cemetery is located on very hilly terrain so if you decide to walk, beware of walking uphill and downhill a lot.

I knew we would not be able to walk through the cemetery so I booked two tickets for the bus tour of the cemetery through ANC Tours. The tour is a hop-on, hop-off tour and makes stops at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Kennedy graves and Arlington House. Tickets are $9.00, worth the price for all the area covered.

Our first stop was the Kennedy graves...of course, there is the grave of President Kennedy...
and Jackie Kennedy. The graves of their children, 2-day-old Patrick and an unnamed stillborn daughter, are on either side of their parents.
Down a sidewalk, several yards to the left are the graves of Robert Kennedy...


Edward Kennedy...(that is Arlington House at the top of the hill which is the Robert E. Lee Memorial.)

and Joseph Kennedy, Jr., a navy pilot and elder brother of President Kennedy, who died during a secret WWII mission.
Our next stop was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...
How moving to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony...we got there five minutes before it began. You can see my video of the ceremony by clicking here. The ceremony takes place on the half hour between April and September, once an hour the remainder of the year.

You also get a spectacular view of the monuments across the river...you can see the Capitol Building and the Jefferson Memorial in the distance.
We had the special opportunity to see two members of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the volunteer sentinels who guard the tomb, walking down the sidewalk holding a folded American flag. I wondered where they had just come from...


Of course there are many notable people buried in Arlington Cemetery besides presidents and senators...

Joe Louis may have been a famous boxer, but many people don't realize he was a Sergeant in the Army...


There are many memorials to astronauts...Colonel Roosa was the pilot of the Apollo 14 moon mission.


The remains of the seven astronauts who died aboard the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster are buried here...


And there is a memorial to the astronauts who died aboard the 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle disaster...


Arlington National Cemetery is huge...it is amazing, and beautiful in a way, to see the rows of white gravestones in perfect straight lines, covering the rolling hills.
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of too many who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the United States, all the way back to the Civil War. Remember silence and respect while you are there.

The easiest way to get to Arlington National Cemetery is with the Metro. Exiting the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop will put you just steps from the entrance.

Arlington Cemetery is open every day:
April 1 through October 30:  8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 1 through March 31:     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For more information, click here.

All photos in this blog post were taken by my husband and me during our visit in September, 2013.

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