Sunday, September 18, 2016

Arlington National Cemetery

I've slacked a little on blogging lately - the Olympics started and as usual got sucked into the swimming and gymnastics. I need to finish my Europe trip in May, but decided I should blog my July Washington, D.C. trip since I am headed back there next Sunday.

I spent 3 days at iCore (our Vonage office in McLean) in mid-July, and rather than flying out just for the trip I flew out on Saturday to spend a day in D.C. My co-worker Chelsea came on this trip, and she also decided to come out early with me. We got in around dinner Saturday night and walked to Matchbox in Chinatown for pizza. When we finished dinner, we were not tired since we were on AZ time so decided to go walk around. We passed this gelato place (and I had heard from friends that it was good) so made a stop there for gelato.

We walked to the Washington Monument...
...and the WWII Memorial...

...and finally the Lincoln Memorial. When we got back to the hotel I think my phone said we walked 8 miles that night.
Sunday morning we slept in a bit and went to a coffee shop in Capitol Hill that was also recommended to me.
We decided to spend the day at Arlington National Cemetery, so took the train from Capitol Hill to the Cemetery.
The graves of JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The grave of Robert Francis Kennedy.

Coast Guard Memorial

Monument for the discoverer of the North Pole

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - we watched the changing of the guard here.

The Battle of the Bulge Memorial. This one was particularly interesting to me since my Grandpa Lyle was captured and taken POW by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. The Battle of the Bulge was fought from December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945. One of the inscriptions on the memorial reads, "To World War II American Soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge - The greatest Land Battle in the history of the United States Army." (see pic below)

Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial

The view from Arlington House. Arlington National Cemetery is located on a parcel of land that once belonged to George Washington's step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis. In 1857, Custis left the property to his daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis and it became the family home for her and her husband, Robert E. Lee. After the Lee family vacated the property at the onset of the Civil War in 1861, the grounds were used for various purposes, including serving as a camp and headquarters for Federal Troops during the Civil War and later providing a safe haven for former slaves seeking freedom.  Arlington National Cemetery held its first military burial on May 13, 1864. Today, the property is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. And they are currently doing construction to expand the property.
We were at the Cemetery from noon to 5pm, and didn't see everything there is to see. So much to take in.

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