Exploring DC: Arlington National Cemetery
The entire weekend was beautiful so we decided to leave the District and cross the bridge to VA to pay a visit to a most hallowed ground, the Arlington National Cemetery.
There were a lot of reminders to be respectful of the space we were occupying, both in actions and volume.
Cemeteries are oddly beautiful to me, and walking through one that holds 400,000+ of our military and their families was surreal. We didn't get to see the whole thing (it covers 624 acres) but we were able to see two of the more famous graves: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and JFK. Unfortunately, we got there too late to catch the last changing of the guard, which is reason enough for me to return. What we did see was grave after grave, different shapes and sizes, all in honor to our veterans and active duty servicemen.
Interesting fact: Section 27 of the Arlington National Cemetery holds 1,500 United States Colored Troops, the first combat soldiers of the Civil War. In addition, nearly 3,800 former slaves who were living in Freedman's Village are interred in Section 27. Citizen or civilian is inscribed on their headstones.
When we left the cemetery, we made one more stop on the way home to see a sight that until that day, I'd only seen in pictures: the Iwo Jima Memorial.
The sun was setting so the lighting was off, but I was struck by just how large the memorial is! A 78 foot tall bronze icon. It was pretty cool to see in person.
I'm glad I took the time to see a few of the sights that I take for granted living in this city. I'm going to make more of an effort to see as much as possible. Especially since there's no telling how long I'll live here ;)