Today we visited Arlington Cementery. Arlington’s green slopes shelter veterans from every war that has involved the USA. Over 290,000 servicemen and their family members rest on the 624 acres of Virginia Land across the Potomac river from the Lincoln Memorial. The granite and marble markers and memorials reflect the tides of American history, beginning with the Civil War. The Arlington Cemetery was originally the property of Robert E Lee with Arlington House now known today as the Robert E Lee Memorial.
President John F Kennedy is buried here with Cape Cod stones framing the eternal flame, and where the words ‘with history the final judge of our deeds….’ are quoted from his inaugural address. There is also the Memorial Amphitheatre, one of the most visited sections in Arlington. It is the setting for the annual observances on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Just east of the amphitheatre, visitors attend the timeless rituals of honor at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Here a sentinel of the Third US Infantry maintains the vigil around the clock. The sentinel paces 21 steps down the mat before the tomb pauses 21 seconds and returns. The changing of the guard takes place every hour. ‘Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God’ reads the inscription on the sarcophagus of the World War I soldier entombed here in 1921. Joining their comrade, unknown servicemen from World War II and Korea lie in crypts beneath slabs flush with the terrace paving.