Arlington!  Everything was so precise, so exact.  No matter which angle you looked at the headstones, they always lined up.

 

 

That is Robert E. Lee’s mansion in the background…we didn’t realize until we visited,  that the U.S. government took away General Lee’s property and turned it into a graveyard. Hmmm…not very nice!  Nonetheless, the whole place is beautiful.

 

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived, was how close Arlington was to Washington D.C.!  We weren’t planning on visiting D.C., so it was neat to see it across the river.

 

 

 

It goes on, and on, and on.   So many men and women gave up their lives for our freedom!

 

 

 

 

The grave of the first known person to be buried at Arlington, Mary Randolph.  She was a direct descendant of Pocahontas, cousin of Thomas Jefferson, and related to a whole host of other famous people 😀

 

 

 

Walking along the road in Arlington cementery…

 

…ummm…Jessica?  What’s that face for?!

 

The stone reads:

“Beneath this stone

Repose the bones of two thousand one hundred and eleven unknown soldiers

gathered after the war

From the fields of Bull Run and the route to the Rappahannock. Their remains could not be identified, but their names and deaths are recorded in the archives of their country: and its grateful citizens honor them as of their noble army of martyrs.  May they rest in peace!

September A.D. 1866″

 

 

 

 

 

We also got to watch the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Some of us thought the tomb was empty, just symbolizing the unknown soldier…what we learned was that they go to great lengths and certain ceremonies to make sure the soldier buried there  is truly unknown.

 

There were four bodies, one for each of the major wars…now their are three, because somehow they identified one of the unknown soldiers.  Since he was no longer ‘unknown’, he had to be moved.

 

The guard takes his job extremely seriously…there are literally marks on the concrete, exactly where the guard always walks.  He walks 21 steps, pauses for 21 seconds, turns, switches his gun in a precise  manner, walks 21 more steps, pauses 21 seconds…etc.

Some of us girls always wondered what it meant to ‘click your heels’.  We got to see it here, since the guard clicked his heels every time he turned 😀

 

They change guards every half hour in the summer, and every hour in the fall and winter.  We didn’t get to see the changing of the guard there, but from watching some YouTube videos, it is also a very precise ceremony.  The whole preparation to even be a guard for the Unknown Soldier is very strict…no t.v. or contact with other people for a certain amount of time…no wrinkles in your uniform…etc.  It’s an interesting thing to look up!

 

This building, right behind the Unknown Soldier, was full of awards and things other countries have given us, and our Unknown Soldier, as well as history and pictures of the ceremonies they went through for each of the unknown soldiers.

 

Every so often the guard would go into the little green canopy to clean or shine up his gun.  It was about the only time he could relax a little!

There is always a guard keeping watch…all around the clock. We  read that once when there was a hurricane, the people over these guards told them they didn’t have to keep watch because the weather was so bad.  However, the guards refused to stop keeping watch, hurricane or no hurricane!

 

We’re not sure what exactly this was for, but it was just a little ways from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

The architecture was impressive!

 

 

 

 

We also saw the ‘Eternal Flame’ where J.F. Kennedy and his wife, as well as one of his children were buried…

 

Family picture…with the Washington Monument in the background 😀

 

 

Even though we were across the river, we still got some good pictures of some landmarks in D.C. (:

 

{The Capitol Building}

 

{J.F.K’s grave and the Washington Memorial in the background}

 

{the Thomas Jefferson memorial}

 

The Pentagon…on the side that the plane crashed into  on 9-11.  You don’t realize just how low the plane were flying until you see the Pentagon up close!

 

The back of Lincoln’s Memorial, and the bridge that goes over the river to D.C. ..we’ll be revisiting that bridge later 😉

 

We saw the mast and memorial of the U.S.S. Maine…

 

 

 

…and the memorial for the seven astronauts that died on the Challenger.

 

Sitting on the steps of the Arlington mansion…

 

….one huge house!

 

{Robert E. Lee}

 

They were working on the mansion when we came through, so it was very bare.

 

Fortunately, they still had signs up in each of the rooms, telling you what happened in that room…

 

There were fireplaces in many of the rooms

 

It was fun to imagine the Lee girls living here…especially since General Lee had several girls…we know what that’s like 😉

 

We saw the room where General Lee wrote his letter of resignation to the U.S. Army.  He agonized over his decision…he did not want the states to secede but realized he could not “raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.”

We saw each of the rooms that the girls shared…kind of like we do 🙂  And we saw the room that Lee’s son was born in, as well as the room that Lee proposed to his wife, Mary…which was in the dining room 😉

We weren’t allowed in the attic, but we heard that there were signatures of Civil War soldiers that wrote their names in the rafters…

 

In the back was a beautiful sunroom, or conservatory…

 

…you can only imagine how pretty it must have looked with plants growing there!

 

 

 

 

{looking down on the cemetery from the mansion}

 

 

 

It was later in the afternoon when we finally said good-bye to Arlington…

 

…and we made a wrong turn and went directly over the bridge to Washington D.C!  Once again, poor Daddy and Mommy were slightly stressed, and we girls were elated, just like when we accidentally drove through NYC 😀

 

Oh, so close! We were hoping we’d go a full circle around the Lincoln Memorial, but somehow we took another road, and that didn’t happen!  But we were just happy to be able to say we’d been in D.C. 😀

 

 

 

We arrived at Jack and Doris’ house for supper…they are cousins on Mommy’s side, who used to be her ‘home away from home’ when she was overseas, before she was married 😉  They lived in Germany at the time.

 

Supper was delicious, and the dining room was beautiful…

 

This is a blurry picture, but here’s some of us, visiting 😉

 

Doris, Mommy and Jack 😀  It was so nice to get to visit with them, and hear stories of when they lived in Germany.  Jack reminded us of Papaw.  We miss Papaw (he passed away 4 years ago), so it was so nice to be around someone who reminded you so much of your grandpa 🙂

 

This was one ambitious day…after Arlington we went to visit Mommy’s friends in Maryland, then we went back into Virginia to spend the night at some more friends house 😀  They were so gracious to let us come, even though it was past midnight when we arrived!  The girls’ bedrooms were beautiful!

 

Everything was so lacy and pretty…we loved it!

 

{a cute little dollhouse set up}

 

They also had a kitten that the girls enjoyed playing with…

 

…and Charissa and Noel enjoyed playing dolls 🙂

 

 

Our next stop is Cape Hatteras…the tallest lighthouse in America 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “East Trip: Arlington

  • October 3, 2011 at 9:34 am
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    with every turn in the posts you get closer to us!! 😆 :mrgreen: love you gals! 8)

    Reply
  • October 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm
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    Ha ha! after waiting a year…we’re almost here! Hey, that rhymes! didn’t sit here thinking about it for hours either 😀

    Reply
  • October 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm
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    DC is probably the most awe-inspiring place I’ve been too! Thanks for capturing so much of Arlington in pictures…I agree, it is very peaceful there. One would think a cemetery is a cold, desolate place, but Arlington completely changed my mind; it was beautiful. My dad was in the Navy, so our Military has a special place in my heart – and I am VERY patriotic. Someday I’m going back to DC. 🙂

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    • October 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm
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      Oh, how neat! Our grandpa was also in the Navy 🙂 I agree with you…Arlington is really, really beautiful!

      Jessica

      Reply

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