Arlington National Cemetery

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The Arlington National Cemetery  is one of the 139 national cemeteries in the United States. It is located in Arlington, Virginia,  southwest of the federal capital Washington, D.C. – United States.
The cemetery was established during the Civil War as a final resting place for Union soldiers on approximately 80-acre of Mary Custis Lee’s family’s Arlington estate.  The property expanded over the years to encompass more than 624 acres of cemeteries. .More than 400,000 people are buried on this 2.53 km2 site, veterans of all American wars, from the war of independence to the last conflicts of the twenty-first century, the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, passing through the Civil War, the two world wars, the Korean war and the Vietnam war.
Along with the Mill Springs National Cemetery, Arlington is the oldest military cemetery in the United States, Each year, more than three million people visit Arlington, attending funeral services and special ceremonies to honor veterans and historical figures.
commemorative trees are planted on the territory in honor of military units or naval ships, making Arlington Memorial Cemetery more like a park.The Cemetery, along with Arlington House, Memorial Drive, the Hemicycle, and Arlington Memorial Bridge, form the Arlington National Cemetery Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 2014.

Access : Coordinates: / The cemetery is located across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, at the west end of the Memorial Bridge in Arlington, Virginia.

Highlights :

  •  The Tomb of the Unknowns :  also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers is one of the most popular sites in the cemetery. It is home to the unknown American soldiers of the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
  •  Arlington Amphitheater : The Tomb of the Unknowns is part of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. This amphitheater hosts national funerals and Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. Ceremonies are also held at Easter. About 5,000 people attend these ceremonies each year. The amphitheater is mainly constructed from Imperial Danby marble from Vermont.
  •  Among the many famous locations in the cemetery, the most famous are: The grave of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline Kennedy and two of their children, Arabella Kennedy and Patrick /
    The United States Marine Corps Memorial with a statue of the famous photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The monument is located outside the cemetery.
    The memorial dedicated to the 266 dead in the sinking of the battleship USS Maine. / Bouvier Kennedy. A permanent flame burns there. His brothers /
    The memorial dedicated to the astronauts who died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster. / The Pentagon Memorial, in honor of the 184 victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. / The Lockerbie Memorial dedicated to the 270 killed in the Pan Am Flight 103 explosion over Lockerbie in Scotland.
    A very famous grave in this cemetery, and considered the most dangerous grave in the world, is located in Section 31 of the same and corresponds to Richard Leroy McKinley, a military specialist who died on January 3, 1961, victim of a nuclear explosion in the SL-1 reactor. His corpse absorbed such a large amount of radiation that it is lined with a special vacuum sealed nylon and inside a sealed sarcophagus made of lead, and this in turn wrapped with several layers of cotton and plastic, all kept inside two vaults more, one above the other and under the ground, each sealed and reinforced with 12-inch layers of metal.
    The radiation emitted by the corpse would kill all nearby life within seconds if exposed; For this reason, the guards who guard his grave have orders to shoot to kill whoever dares to approach the place with a shovel or other digging tool.

Opening hours : The hours vary slightly depending on the season: April to September: 8 a.m. at 7 p.m. – October to March: 8 a.m. at 5 p.m.
The Cemetery Visitor Center is a good place to start your visit, where you will find maps, guides, exhibits, a bookstore, and restrooms.

Activities : Washington, DC sightseeing tours / You can walk the gardens on your own or take an interpretive tour / Visit Famous Graves – Notable Americans buried here include Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Robert Kennedy.
/ Visit the Women in Military Service for America Monument.

Go next : Washington Obelisk Monument / the Jefferson Memorial / Fort Myer Historic District.

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