Arlington Cemetery

Published: June 11th 2017
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Geo: 38.8887, -76.9894

We got back in the car this morning and went off to visit Arlington cemetery and to see the changing of the guard.
The cemetery is massive and all set in beautiful gardens and lawns. We walked up the hill to the Tomb of the unknown soldier to see the changing of the guard ceremony which occurs every hour on the hour. An officer came out and announced the ceremony and then later on they had several groups of children bring out wreaths representing their schools to lay at the tomb while a bugler played the last post. It was quite moving and it was lovely to see the little kids being so solemn and respectful. The tomb was positioned on the hill at the top of the cemetery and behind it was a pavillion and a large marble amphitheatre.
After the ceremony we walked around the grounds and visited President Kenedys gravesite with it's eternal flame and flag at half mast.
The whole cemetery is a beautiful tribute to all of the servicemen and women of the U.S. and even their families can be buried there with them.
It was so nice to see most people being quiet and respectful as they wandered through the grounds, although some them should have worn more appropriate T-shirts!
There were stunning views of the Capitol building and the Washington monumnent from various vantage points and also of the Pentagon which we passed on our way back to the apartment. Of course the Pentagon looks pretty ordinary from the ground and you really need to see it from the air to see the shape.

After lunch we ventured back into the Mall on the bikes to visit the American Indians museum. Another stunning example of architecture, although this one only 10 years old so a quite recent addition to the Smithsonian. It featured arfifacts and video displays for the various Indian cultures of the Americas including the Inuit people and Central and South America as well as the various North American tribes.

It is our last day in DC tomorrow so we will go to Dulles airport to see the Steven Udvar-Hazy air museum. After having very nice weather the time we have been here we have just had a storm tonight. It's supposed to be fine again tomorrow though and staying that way for another couple of days.

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