Monday, June 4, 2012

Arlington National Cemetery

So after running across the jerks, it was time to visit the cemetary proper.  One of the things I hate about trips like that is that you only get to scratch the surface of places like this.  Compound that with the fact that it was a pretty a hot day, I probably only saw a small percentage of the cemetery.
 As you enter the Cemetary from the subway, you are greeted by the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.  Ground was broken in 1995 and it was officially opened in 1997.  Right above that is the home of Robert E. Lee, who used to live here.  More on that later.
 Lining the main drive are a few statues.  This one is of Admiral Richard Byrd.  He was the first aviator to fly over both the North and South Poles.  One of his planes is on display at the Henry Ford Museum.
 One of the ceremonial guards.  I really like these uniforms.
 This sculpture was dedicated to the 101st Airborne Division.
 Since it was Memorial Day, there was a motorcade and I got to see the President.
 But this wasn't his car.  I believe it was the one immediately following.
 I kind of liked how the bikes were arranged in this picture.
 Since I don't often get to see the Secret Service.
 I would have to say that one of the most striking things about Arlington is the sheer number of graves there.  Soldiers from most of our wars are buried here.  There is an amazing degree of unity to the graves as a number of faiths are represented here as well.
 At the entrance they were handing out roses to place on the graves and this is the one I decided on.  Mainly because he was from Michigan.
 There is also a degree of serenity to this place.  But then again, most graveyards have a degree of peace to them.  Even ones dedicated to warriors.
 You can see rows upon rows of graves.  Although not every one of these people were killed in combat.
 Also since it was Memorial Day, each of the gravesites had a flag attached to it.
 I took this picture because I think it points to one of the great aspects of America.  Even immigrants can get honored here.

 This is the eternal flame of the Kennedy Gravesite.
 And Kennedy's headstone.
 The view of Washington D.C. from Lee's house.
The cemetary once belonged to General Robert E. Lee (or rather his wife).  The Government acquired the land in a tax auction after preventing his wife from making good on the taxes.  The family later sued the Government and they won only to sell the land back to the government.
 Also since it was Memorial Day, there was a cannon ceremony.  Unfortunately, I couldn't too close to it.
 Not all of the graves are the standard military graves.  It seemed like many of these belonged to Admirals and Generals.
 Another shot of the Lee Mansion.
 Again, I was amazed by the sheer number of graves.

 The Presidential Motorcade leaving Arlington after his speech.  Because of this, I couldn't make it to the Tomb of the Unknowns.  Oh well, that gives me something to look for the next time I visit.
 One of the gates.
A memorial dedicated to the 4th Infantry Division.

I read alot of history and that mostly involves the wars of this country.  I never really think about the human costs until I visit a place like this.


Anonymous said...

It appears that you had a very nice day to visit Arlington and I think you captured some of the serenity of the place. Thanks.

15dreese said...

If you ever go back please get pictures of the five Sullivan brothers. I know that they are not from Michigan but they are a major part of the history of the Navy and all the other branches.