I’ve lived in the DC area for a year and a half now and I’ve barely shared anything about the city. It’s time for that to change! So this morning I walked over to one of my favorite DC sights, Arlington National Cemetery. Perhaps it sounds a bit morbid to call this place a favorite, but more than most of the monuments it fills me sentiments of pride, gratitude, and patriotism. It’s also just really beautiful.
It’s incredibly large, filled with tombstones aligned neatly in perfect rows and meticulously maintained. Each one representing a man or woman who’s life is woven into the fabric of our nation. If you aren’t comfortable walking for miles, or if you want to learn about the rich history of the cemetery, there’s a tour where they take you around in the shuttle. I would probably really enjoy it, but I haven’t done it yet. I just wander over every now and then when I have some free time.
There are several buildings and monuments within the cemetery. To me, the most interesting one is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It’s been guarded by a soldier 24/7 since 1948 – through rain and sleet and snow. Every hour (or half hour depending on season) they have a changing of the guard ceremony, which is very cool to watch (and free!). I’ve been several times and I really recommend it.
No matter how much time you have, it’s a nice place to visit if you find yourself in our capital anytime soon! It’s also nice any time of year. Trees are blooming now, it’s also gorgeous with a blanket of snow. Volunteers place wreaths at each tombstone at Christmastime and it’s equally brilliant in the fall. Just go during daylight hours before the gates close.