Thursday, July 26, 2012

Arlington Cemetery

A visit to Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC, technically in the state of Virginia, is worth the cross over to the other side of the river, to complete your visit and understanding of US history and military significance. It is also a stark reminder of the sheer numbers of lives lost at war.

This cemetery of rolling hills, lush green spaces and well kept gardens is the National Military Cemetery, and reportedly holds around 100 funerals every week. Veterans and their partners and children can be buried here, alongside their fellow US service men and woman. As such, the range of dates along the sections and along the rows include the full range from war dates, to present day passings.

There are sections for higher ranked personnel, but in the end the honoured here are really equal in their sacrifice, whether as the serving member or indeed their supporting spouse at home.

Of course, among others, Arlington is the final resting place of many of the Kennedy's, including JFK. The eternal flame above the plaque for the assassinated President, and his wife Jackie O, pulls the biggest tourist crowd, playing their respects and remembering his contribution to American way of life.

The most beautiful part of the cemetery visit for me, however, was the reflecting arches of the Women In Military Service for America Memorial, just at the gates before we left to walk the bridge back to The Mall.

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