The first military service man interred in Arlington National Cemetery was on May 13, 1864. Many notable and not so notable people are laid to rest here.
My good friend Joan’s father is buried here at Arlington, so we all wanted to visit the cemetery and to pay our respects especially to him. He is interred right here in this beautiful, serene setting. I put my hand on his tombstone, and thanked this man I never knew for his service to our country, and for the wonderful daughter that he birthed:
And just behind where I was standing to take this photo is a large grassy area; a perfect spot for the six of us to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch, which we did. Our two granddaughters will remember this experience forever.
We next watched in reverence the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns:
On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.
The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor.
The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.
Two Unknown Union Soldiers were interred on May 15, 1864. They were the first of nearly 5,000 unknowns now resting in Arlington National Cemetery.
Also located here are two presidents, William Howard Taft (I didn’t get a photo of his grave), and John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
Arlington Mansion and 200 acres of ground immediately surrounding it were designated officially as a military cemetery June 15, 1864, by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
More than 300,000 people are buried at Arlington Cemetery.
Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the Iraq and Afghanistan. Pre-Civil War dead were reinterred after 1900.
(All of the above information on dates and facts was copied from the official website.)
Although this photo was taken at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, it is still a reminder to all of us:
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
God bless our troops…and thanks to all who have served our great country!