June 15, 2015

Arlington National Cemetery


The first stop of our trip was Arlington National Cemetery. We arrived late in the morning when the sun was beating down, and the temperatures were rising quickly. We were dripping in sweat before we even made it to the visitor's center from the nearby metro station.

But I'll tell you, it was so hard to be uncomfortable here, regardless of the weather. To think of the sacrifices the men and women buried here gave to our country is unbelievably humbling. How could the heat compare to what these resting souls have endured? Their bravery and courage is truly remarkable, and while wandering these hallowed grounds, I found myself overwhelmed by a wave of gratitude.

Being in our nation's capital, we were surrounded by history; this city represents all that is the foundation of America. And beginning our week-long stay with a visit to Arlington was the perfect way for my family and me to recognize and appreciate what it took for our country to become "the land of the free and the home of the brave."


Tips for visiting Arlington National Cemetery

- Wear sunscreen. None of us thought once about wearing sunscreen, and consequently there were sunburns. Be sure to lather up before visiting so you won't have to deal with a painful sunburn in the days following your visit to Arlington.
- Stay hydrated. We visited Arlington on an incredibly hot and sunny day, so drinking water was of utmost importance. Bring your own bottle, or you can purchase bottles in the visitor center.
- Wear your walking shoes. Arlington is huge and hilly, so be prepared.
- Consider a guided tour. We chose to explore on our own, but there is a trolley tour available. I'm not sure how great it is considering we didn't do it, but it might be a good alternative to walking around on your own - especially when it was as hot as it was the day we were there. There are a lot of well-known people buried here, and I would imagine the trolley tour could be a great way to see everything without totally exhausting yourself.

You can get to Arlington National Cemetery easily on the metro. Take the blue line to the Arlington Cemetery stop. After exiting the metro station on the escalator, just follow the crowd. The entrance and visitor center will be across the street.

 

1, 2, 3, 8, 10 Grave sites at Arlington // 4, 5, 6 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier // 7, 11 I can never resist flower pictures // 9 JFK's grave site

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