Every year, millions of people from all over the world descend on Washington DC, the Nation’s Capital, to visit the many museums, lobby congress, attend conventions, and learn about the history of our nation. There is one place that stands alone, just outside the city, a place that is quiet, somber, and moving. A place where it seems time stands still and the years of our nation flash before our eyes, this place is Arlington National Cemetery, where over 400,000 of our soldiers are laid to rest. Beginning with the Civil War dead and ending with our modern day conflicts, each grave stone with a specific life that gave it all for their friends.
Many who visit the place of honor know little about its history. The national cemetery was started during the Civil War on the property of Arlington House, which had been the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna Custis Lee who was a great-granddaughter of George Washington. During the Civil War, the property was taken over by the Union Army, because it was the highest ground overlooking Washington DC. After the war, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in the court case United States v. Lee, deciding that Arlington had been confiscated without due process, Congress returned the property and then the Lee family sold it back to the government, when it became Arlington National Cemetery.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands on top of a hill overlooking Washington DC and is one of the popular sites at the Cemetery. It is guarded by a US Army Soldier 24/7, in any weather condition. The changing of the guard takes place every 30 minutes in the Summer/Fall months and every 60 minutes during the Winter/Spring months, which is a special event to watch and have a moment of silence to honor those that have sacrificed for our freedom.
It’s always a great time to visit the cemetery, but in the Holiday season you will be amazed by the beauty of the hundreds of thousands of wreaths laid at each grave stone to celebrate the holidays and honor those laid there. Traveling to Arlington National Cemetery is easy from our Washington DC B&B. By taking the Metro from Farragut West Station, you can use either the Blue, Silver or Orange line trains straight to the Arlington Cemetery Metro Station. A taxi, Uber, or Lyft can also get you there in a little bit quicker time than the Metro.