Saturday, July 30, 2011

A moment of silence for Arlington

The 3rd stop on my trip 'down South' was to Arlington National Cemetery. I'm a huge history buff (and history teacher) so naturally this was a place I've always wanted to see. 

The cemetery itself is massive, covering close to 4 miles (8km) and we didn't manage to see even half in over 2 hours. The "important" graves that everyone - including us - flocks to are JFK's grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

The graves are mostly simple white headstones set out in a very rigid pattern. It reminded me of what I picture Flanders Fields looking like in Belgium. If you've ever attended a Canadian Remembrance Day ceremony then you know what I'm talking about. 

 JFK's grave

What really made an impression on me was the amount of respect that the visitors had for these hallowed grounds. It was very quiet, even children managed to behave themselves and everyone paid their respects in a very somber fashion. 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was the place I was most interested to see. They have a Marine posted at the Tomb 24 hours a day and every hour they perform a "changing of the Guards" ceremony. 

So many young men and women gave their lives for the freedom that America now enjoys, and so many of them were killed as cannon fodder and dumped into unmarked graves, if they were found at all. I think it's incredible that we honour these fallen heroes and give them the respect they deserve 


  1. This will definitely be on my 'places to see' list when I'm in US next year!

    Did you take those photos yourself? They are beautiful and fit right in this post.

  2. I definitely recommend seeing it! and yep I took them myself (and then edited on my computer for dramatic effect)