military cemetery in the United States of America

Arlington National Cemetery is in Arlington, Virginia.

Just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., adjacent to the Pentagon, this national military cemetery includes John F. Kennedy's tomb and the house of Confederate General Robert E. Lee (whose property this was, before it was seized during the American Civil War).

This article also covers the areas surrounding the cemetery, including Fort Myer, the Pentagon grounds, and Columbia Island.

UnderstandEdit

 
Map of Arlington National Cemetery
 
Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery

Get inEdit

Arlington National Cemetery has its own stop on the Metro Blue Line, which provides access from downtown Washington D.C., Crystal City, and Alexandria.

Fees and permitsEdit

SeeEdit

  • 1 Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center, toll-free: +1-877-907-8585. If you want to explore the entire cemetery, which is enormous and hilly, in a short amount of time, there is an interpretative tour that departs continuously from the Welcome Center between 8:30AM and 6PM, April through September, and between 8:30AM and 4PM, October through March. Cost is $12. There is also a large parking garage that is a good place to dump your car and then catch the subway into D.C.    
  • 2 Women in Military Service for America Memorial, Memorial Drive, Arlington (Metro: Arlington Cemetery), +1 703 533-1155, toll-free: +1-800-222-2294, . 8AM to 5PM. The memorial honors the contribution of women to America's military. In 1932, McKim, Mead and White designed a gateway to Arlington Cemetery, and in 1997 a mostly underground museum opened behind that historic structure. It features informational displays and historic artifacts and uniforms. Free.    
  • 3 John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame. Final resting place of President John F. Kennedy and many other members of the Kennedy family    
  • 4 Arlington House, +1 703 235-1530. The plantation house of Robert E. Lee and his ancestors. Guided tours are available, and the grounds have great views looking down into Washington, D.C.    
  • 5 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Apr-Sep 8AM-7PM daily, Oct-Mar 8AM-5PM daily; Changing of the Guard ceremony Apr-Sep every half hour, Oct-Mar every hour. Just as the name says, this tomb sited on a picturesque hill overlooking Washington, D.C., is the resting place of one soldier each from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War whose bodies could not be identified. (Due to advances in DNA testing, a soldier from the Vietnam War formerly entombed here was identified and reinterred, and it's likely that there will be no more unidentified soldiers from now on.) Guards in pristine dress uniforms maintain a 24/7 patrol in a meticulous back-and-forth pattern: 21 steps, turn and shoulder arms, pause for 21 seconds, and repeat. Even inclement weather does not stop them (although there is a shelter used very occasionally in extreme conditions). The prestigious post is not entirely ceremonial; the guards are armed and will interrupt their routine to silence loud or disrespectful visitors or stop anyone (including children and tourists with cameras) who approaches too close. A formal Changing of the Guard ceremony is held half-hourly in summer and hourly in winter. The solemn ceremony is a popular sight to watch, but if you want to spend some time in quiet contemplation you may find the crowd and their cameras disruptive; instead, aim to arrive just after the ceremony when the crowd thins out until the next one. Wreath laying ceremonies are also held periodically.    
  • 6 Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), Meade St & Arlington Blvd (about a 15-minute walk from either the Rosslyn or Arlington Cemetery Metro stations). Compelling memorial that commemorates the amphibious landing and eventually victorious battle for the Pacific island of Iwo Jima during World War II. If you walk around the memorial counter clockwise, you'll notice the optical illusion of the marines planting the flag. On July 4th, this spot also provides an excellent view of the fireworks.    
  • 7 The Pentagon (Just across the Potomac River from downtown DC. Metro: Pentagon), +1 703-697-1776 (tours), +1 301-740-3388 (memorial). While lingering is not recommended for security reasons, you should know it is the largest office building in the world, and covers 4 zip codes. (Army, Navy, Air Force and Department of Defense.Tours are available by online reservation mader 14-90 days in advance. The Pentagon Memorial is open 24 hours to visitors on the Washington Blvd side, where Flight 77 hit. Photography is allowed at the memorial, but is not permitted anywhere else on the Pentagon grounds— take photos anywhere else on site, and you may face a lengthy interrogation by the Pentagon Police and will probably be asked to delete the images. On a lighter note, the interior courtyard is irreverently referred to by employees as "Ground Zero," as it was the target of a number of Soviet missiles during the Cold War. There is no public parking at the Pentagon but it is about a 5-minute walk from the Pentagon City Mall through a tunnel.    
  • 8 Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. Just outside the Pentagon, and accessible to visitors    
  • 9 United States Air Force Memorial (a 15- to 20-minute walk from either the Pentagon or Pentagon City metro stops, or you can ride any of the route 16 Metrobuses from the Pentagon to the memorial.). A monument dedicated in Fall 2006 to the U.S. Air Force. The monument consists of three soaring spires signifying the Thunderbird's bomb-burst formation. Also on the site are a few statues and information about various airborne campaigns the U.S. Air Force has participated in. The monument is on a hilltop with an excellent view of Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, and Washington DC. Limited parking is available in the lot across the street from the memorial.    
  • 10 Arlington Memorial Bridge. A historic bridge built in 1932 providing a line-of-sight between Arlington House and the Lincoln Memorial, symbolizing the rapprochement between the North and South after the Civil War    
  • 11 Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac, +1 703 289-2500.    
  • 12 Navy–Merchant Marine Memorial, George Washington Memorial Pkwy. On Columbia Island, along the Mount Vernon Trail    
  • 13 Netherlands Carillon. 6AM-midnight.    
  • 14 National Seabee Memorial.    

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