I’ve lived here for almost 12 years and finally made it to Arlington! It was supposed to be a nice, cool 45 degrees, but instead it turned into a cloudy, windy, freezing 35 degrees!
Luckily, they have a tour bus that takes you around to the more popular monuments and grave-sites so I didn’t have to withstand the cold too much. But, because it was SO cold, I didn’t walk around and take as many photos as I would have liked, so I’ll just have to go back!
The first stop on the tour was JFK’s grave-site and the eternal flame, which I skipped.
The next stop was the Coast Guard Memorial. Skipped, need to go back.
You could see numerous other monuments and memorials around DC from the cemetery.
The Air Force Memorial can be seen here in the background in the middle.
And the Washington Monument (it’s the barely visible tall thing in the background, to the left).
The next stop was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I DID get off at this stop. The amphitheater was undergoing some construction, so I couldn’t go in and had to just take pictures around it.
Before it got busy, I took a quick video of Tomb Guard marching back and forth in front of the tomb. http://youtu.be/e0dQpEb8pGQ
Did I mention it was cold and windy? Even the guard needed to take a break to blow his nose!
Here comes the soldier to play Taps.
I was supremely impressed that every single person, including the young children, respected the ceremony and remained quiet. I don’t think anyone even coughed!
The wait for the next bus was about 15 minutes, so I walked across the street to take a few pictures.
There were a few other monuments around, but it was TOO COLD!
Spanish-American War Memorial
Canadian Cross and the USS Maine Mast Memorial (it’s in the background behind the branches).
There were a couple of other stops, but my ears and face were thawing and I didn’t hear much. Plus the bus was packed with people standing in the isle because they didn’t want to wait for the next bus, so I couldn’t see anything the tour guide was pointing out on the other side of the bus.
I did manage to hear this is the Arlington Memorial Bridge and ends at the Lincoln Memorial.
And the gold shields on the gate represent four branches of the armed forces; Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard. The Air Force is not represented because it did not exist yet when the gates were constructed in 1932.
I shall return on a nicer day!