Coast to Coast 2012: Arlington National Cemetery


I knew my children were going to have no idea of the magnitude of what they were seeing at the Arlington National Cemetery.  When we walked in I told Jaidan, "everyone who is buried here did something during their life to make your life better."  He still didn't really get it but I'm hoping that one day he - and his brother and sister - will realize exactly what they experienced.

The magnitude of this place . . . of all the people who died defending our freedom or devoted their lives to this country. . .  is something every single American should experience.  It is most certainly humbling and just . . . I'm not sure the words. 

One of our first stops was the eternal flame and the graves of John F. Kennedy, Jackie O., and two of their children.  (Total sidenote: for some reason, I expected to see the grave of JFK Jr.  The children buried were a daughter and the son, Patrick, they lost while Kennedy was in office.  I Googled and JFK Jr was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.  Just in case you were also curious).

Without a doubt, the most touching thing we saw in the cemetery was the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Changing of the Guard.

There is a sign posted at the Tomb that asks for "respectful silence."  Trying to get a two-year-old to administer respectful silence is easier said than done.  :/  I tried shooting a video of the changing of the guard but when Karis started yelling, "Hi Ty Ty, Hi!" over and over to her brother, I had to shut off the recording and tend to her.

I was in kindergarten when the Challenger shuttle carrying Christa McAuliffe and six other crew members exploded.  For whatever reason - perhaps because it's my first ever historical moment - that has always stuck in my mind.  I wanted to make sure we saw the Challenger memorial while we were at the cemetery.

We didn't get to see as much of the cemetery as we would have liked.  It's a big place and would be easy to spend an entire day there.  The kids were wearing down, though, so we headed out.  If you are ever in the Washington DC, keep me in mind that the national cemetery is an absolute must.

Next up: Onto North Carolina!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts