Arlington National Cemetery – so many stories

Most everyone associates the name Arlington National Cemetery with the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and JFK’s grave, but there’s so much more to this historic place.  Come along on a photographic afternoon’s stroll through this beautiful park and see how much there is to see.

The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a combination of precision military maneuvers, reverence for this place and colorful pageantry all wrapped into one.

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John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline and son Patrick are all buried together near the Eternal Flame which has been burning since his death in 1963.

John F. Kennedy grave

The Old Amphitheater was built in 1874 to serve as a formal meeting space within the cemetery grounds, but quickly was overwhelmed with the size of the crowds who attended various ceremonies.

Old Arlilngton Amplhitheater

The Arlington Memorial Amphitheater construction started in 1915, slowed due to World War I and was finished and dedicated by 1920.  If you watch the Veterans Day and Memorial Day services held in Washington each year on TV, they are being broadcast from right here.

Arlilngton Amplhitheater

 

Arlilngton Amplhitheater

The memorial to the crew of the United States Space Shuttle Challenger.

Challenger memorial

The tombstone of PFC Lee Marvin, who went on to Hollywood stardom.

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Tombstone of Bruce Crandall, Medal of Honor winner who flew 22 missions in an unarmed helicopter to bring ammunition in and to evacuate 76 wounded soldiers during the Batlle of Ia Drang in Vietnam.

Bruce Perry Crandall

Plaque commemorating Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the engineer commissioned by George Washington to design the layout of Washington’s street system – which still exists today.

Plaque commemorating Pierre Charles L’Enfant

This Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers contains the unidentified remains of 2, 111 soldiers from the civil war.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers  from Civil War

Abner Doubleday was credited with firing the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter, starting the Civil War. He later was granted the patent for inventing the San Francisco cable car system. Baseballs are always laid on his grave, despite the fact that many don’t believe he was the actual person to start the sport.

Abner Doubleday tomb

Under one of the more unusual tombstones, lies James Fingal Gregory, Corps. of Engineers, who accompanied General Sheridan to explore the Big Horn Mountains and Yellowstone National Park.

James Fingal Gregory, Corps. of Engineers

Tomb of Robert Peary, who discovered the South Pole in 1909.

Tomb of Robert Peary, who discovered the South Pole in 1909.

Your quick tour is over, but there are literally hundreds of other interesting things to see throughout Arlington.   Make sure you give yourself enough time if you plan to visit.  You can easily spend an entire day here.

Arlington National Cemetery gate

Arlington National Cemetery; Arlington, Virginia 22211

Phone 877-907-8585

Open seven days per week.  April – September 8am – 7pm   October – March 8am -5pm