Memorial Day, in the United States, is a day we remember, pay tribute to and honor all those who died while serving in the US Armed Forces. For Memorial Day this year, 2015, The Nomads were in the Washington DC vicinity. We knew no better way to pay tribute to those who fell than to visit Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery is located in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C. It is actually just across the Potomac River. These hallowed grounds are where those who died during our nation’s conflicts, beginning with the American Civil War, are buried as well as two presidents and some family members related to those who died while in service.
The grounds are impeccable. The attention to detail and order that it is in, is a real tribute to US Military Service Personnel. If you visit, please remember to be respectful. Although many visit like it is a tourist destination, remember it is still a cemetery. Please do not be loud, disorderly or disrespectful. Those buried here gave their lives for you to enjoy that sort of freedom. Show your gratitude for that freedom.
The grounds are located on 624 acres and divided into sections, 76 in all. The different sections seem to have their own commonality, such as perishing in the same conflict. Many monuments and memorials and purposely placed throughout the grounds.
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members. This includes unknown soldiers from World War I, World War II and the Korean War who are honored and remembered by the well-known Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
A vigil is kept 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. Since they began their vigil, they have marched day and night through all weather and manner of storm. They have not missed one single day. That is dedication.
They conduct a changing of the guard ceremony every hour except from April 1 to September 30, which is every half hour. If you visit this tomb, a word of warning, again, be quiet and be respectful. If not, the guard will stop and instruct you to do so.
Some graves are more well-known. They are no more important than the others buried there. But, they did have more notoriety such as President John F. Kennedy, his immediate family and his siblings. President William H. Taft and his wife and family are buried here as are Thurgood Marshall and Joe Louis.
Walking those sacred grounds, visiting the graves and witnessing the ceremony of the changing of the guard was a very emotional time for me. I was grateful for the liberties I enjoy because of them but sad because of the price they paid, the ultimate sacrifice. The Nomads spent the day remembering those buried here as well as the service men and women buried in other cemeteries around the world. We thank you with our utmost sincerity.
Arlington is open 365 days a year. Visit their site for more information. Be respectful when you visit and I do recommend that you visit at least once to honor, remember and explore. Safe Travels.