Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arlington National Cemetery

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:

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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:

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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:

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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. Scene at Arlington National Cemetery

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:

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FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

God bless our troops…and thanks to all who have served our great country!

8 comments:

ivana said...

Thank you, Sandy!
I understand the text very well!
These visits are a great emotion for all people who love their own Country!
You are a beautiful person!!!
Big hugs!!!!

Barb said...

Wow. What an experience. Your grands will never forget this trip! A fun family trip full of learning... love of family, history, honor, Patriotism... Just so wonderful.

Big hugs :]

Haley D. said...

It was definitely an experience to remember.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

it is very emotional to be there i know. i couldn't help crying at the changing of the guard either. those soldiers are amazing...

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Sandy. I've most definitely got to get down to Arlington as there just wasn't time to do so when we were there last.

I think it's definitely an experience your granddaughters will always remember.

Sarge Charlie said...

ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL

"Lois Grebowski" said...

That is one place I remember from my childhood visit -- the sea of white headstones.

Your grands had a wonderful, educational visit they'll remember and appreciate.

Hugs!

Sandee said...

What a lovely post. One of the places I would love to visit someday.

You are right...FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. It's never been free. God bless our troops.

Have a terrific day honey. Big hug. :)