Activities & Resources
Arlington National Cemetery551in Ft Myer, VA
about Arlington National Cemetery:
The Visitors Center, located by the cemetery entrance, is a good place to start, as it provides maps, guidebooks, exhibits, information services (including grave locations), a bookstore, and restrooms. The Visitors Center is also where you can purchase tickets for, and board, the Tourmobile bus that tours the cemetery.
One of the highlights of the cemetery is the Memorial Amphitheater, which holds three major annual memorial services each year - on Easter, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day. The Easter Sunrise Service begins at 6am, and Memorial Day and Veteran's Day services always begin at 11am. Many military organizations also conduct annual memorial services in the amphitheater.
Kids especially are fascinated by The Tomb of the Unknowns, also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (it's never been officially named), which stands atop a hill offering an incredible view of Washington, DC. The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather, by Tomb Guard sentinels. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard). The sentinels rotate walks every hour in the winter and at night, and every half-hour in the day during the summer. The guard is changed in an elaborate ritual every hour on the hour from October 1 to March 31. From April 1 through September 30, there are more than double the opportunities to view the change because another change is added on the half hour and the cemetery stays open two hours later.
Other highlights include the Eternal Flame of the Kennedy grave, the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, the Nurses Memorial, the Rough Riders Memorial, and the USS Maine Memorial