Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA is one of the United States most important historic sites. The cemetery is where thousands of military personnel are laid to rest. If you’re planning a visit, here is what you need to know.
About Arlington National Cemetery
The Army National Military Cemeteries consist of the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia along with the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The national cemetery is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army.
The Arlington National Cemetery holds between 27 and 30 funeral services each weekday and between 6 and 8 services on Saturday. The rolling green hills of the National Cemetery are sprinkled with trees that are centuries old. The gardens of the cemetery are immaculately kept and landscaped and serve as a tribute to the sacrifice and service.
It is also one of the oldest national cemeteries in the country. It is the resting place of the 14,000 veterans, even individuals who have fought in the Civil War. The Secretary of the Army consolidated authorities and developed the Executive Director position, to develop and manage the program.
Visiting the Arlington National Cemetery
When you head into visit the Arlington National Cemetery there are a few things to keep in mind. The Cemetery allows visitors to explore the history of the cemetery grounds. Arlington National Cemetery Tours Inc. offers tours and an interpretive tour bus service through Arlington with stops at Ord & Weitzel that walk the gate to the see the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. You’ll also visit the President John F. Kennedy gravesite, the U.S. Coast Guard Memorial, and the U.S. Army Gen. John J. Pershing’s gravesite. The Arlington National Cemetery is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Arlington House as well.
Driving through the cemetery is only allowed for individuals who are attending a funeral service. You can, however, take tours on your own during tour hours. The Arlington National Cemetery offers a free shuttle service if you’d like to visit the gravesite.
Another feature that the Arlington National Cemetery offers is the ANC Explorer which is a web-based and mobile application that allows visitors, families and the public to find gravesites of specifically armed servicemen. The app also directs you to specific points of interest throughout the gravesite. Explore headstone photos and get directions to the locations you’re looking at. You can also use the tap to perform self-guided tours and get easy access to general information you might need. The app is available for public use.
What To See at the Cemetery
Some of the most visited spots at the cemetery include the following.
The Memorial Amphitheater at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, was founded in 1920. The amphitheater hosts countless services throughout the year, but most Americans consider it the final official ceremonies for servicemen. Each year about 5,000 visitors attends each of the three major annual memorial services at the Amphitheater.
John F. Kennedy Gravesite
John F. Kennedy’s memorial and gravesite are also located at the cemetery. He visited the cemetery in 1961 to place his own wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. He followed that up with a speech of his own. He is one of only two U.S. presidents to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the other is William Howard Taft. Today, Kennedy’s memorial stands at the cemetery and is visited by thousands of people each year.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
You can also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Solider yourself on the top of a hill overlooking Washington D.C.
Plan your visit to Arlington National Cemetery and pay your respects to the fallen.