#61 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On my way home from dropping Mary Ann off at Reagan National Airport for her visit with her sisters on 11/4/17, I stopped at Arlington National Cemetery to tour the cemetery. My original purpose was to visit my parent’s niche (in the columbarium) and my uncle’s grave. It was a pleasant fall afternoon so it was good for a long walk to see the other highlights of the cemetery and take photographs.

I visited the Kennedy family gravesite where President John F. Kennedy and his family are buried with the ‘Eternal Flame’ burning. However, the most impressive place in the cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to U.S. service members who have died without their remains being identified. The tomb is continuously guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Periodically, the guard changes (every half hour, every hour, or every 2 hours, depending on the day and time). All day long there is a large crowd witnessing the guard performing the meticulous routine to watch over the tomb, as well as the periodic changing of the guard.

As I watched the guard pacing along the path and witnessing the changing of the guard, I was moved at the symbolism of the tomb and the dedication of the soldiers performing their duty. I was also impressed that the large crowd remained respectably quiet throughout the entire continuous ceremony.

When in DC, the Arlington National Cemetery is a worthwhile place to visit.

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