The Sunday we left DC we woke up bright and early to make our way to Arlington National Cemetery before leaving for the airport.
The day before we visited there was a GIANT wreath laying ceremony! Over 100,000 wreaths were laid on the graves. Family member and complete strangers volunteered to place the simple but thoughtful wreaths on the tombstones. You can read more about the wreath laying ceremony( here)
Seeing the wreaths on the graves was beautiful. It was so comforting to know that so many people care about our fallen soldiers.
One of the coolest things of the morning was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Before visiting I had heard of the Tomb of Unknown Soldier, but all I knew was that it was guarded 24/7. Today I learned that there are soldiers from all the majors wars except Vietnam. (they were all identified) I am still in shock that a guard stands there 24/7 in rain, heat or snow!!
The changing of the guards ceremony was also very amazing! We were extra lucky because they performed another wreath laying ceremony while we were there. A school must have donated a wreath because two of the students got to present the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I can’t even imagine how moving that must have been for those kids, it’s something they will remember for the rest of their lives. During the ceremony the bugle played the song TAPS, which was especially emotional for me because it reminded me of my grandpa’s funeral this June where they played the same tune.
Arlington National Cemetery is also the resting place of the Kennedy family. My roommates and I pride ourselves in knowing tons of random facts about the Kennedy family (we have spent many a nights discussing the Kennedy family tree) John F. Kennedy is buried with his wife and two of his children. At his gravesite is the eternal flame, it is amazing to think that the flame is always burning bright.
The cemetery itself was huge! And the views were beautiful. From Kennedy’s resting place you can see all of DC.We only saw a small portion of it. The rows and rows of grave stones are just a small reminder of how many men and women have devoted their lives to serving this country.