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Arlington National Cemetery: Honoring America’s Heroes in Washington D.C.

Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.

Located in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C., Arlington National Cemetery is a sacred and historic final resting place for thousands of U.S. service members and their families. Covering over 600 acres, the cemetery is a place of solemn beauty and reverence, where visitors can pay their respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

History of Arlington National Cemetery

Originally established during the Civil War as a burial ground for Union soldiers, the property that now comprises Arlington National Cemetery was once the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. After Lee left the property to serve as commander of the Confederate Army, the U.S. government confiscated it and began using it as a burial ground for Union soldiers. Over time, the cemetery expanded to include the graves of soldiers from other conflicts, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the graves of several U.S. presidents.

What to See and Do at Arlington National Cemetery

Visitors to Arlington National Cemetery can pay their respects at the graves of U.S. service members from all branches of the military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The cemetery also features several notable memorials, including the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the Memorial Amphitheater, and the Challenger Memorial.

The most famous site at Arlington National Cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by members of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, also known as the “Old Guard.” Visitors can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place every hour on the hour from October to March, and every half hour from April to September.

In addition to paying their respects, visitors can take guided tours of the cemetery, which cover the cemetery’s history and notable gravesites. The cemetery also offers a free mobile app that provides information about the cemetery and its history, as well as a virtual tour of the cemetery’s most significant sites.

Planning Your Visit to Arlington National Cemetery

Admission to Arlington National Cemetery is free, but there is a fee for parking. Visitors can also access the cemetery via public transportation, including the Metro subway system and several local bus lines.

The cemetery is open year-round, but hours vary depending on the season. From April 1 to September 30, the cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. From October 1 to March 31, the cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended hours on weekends and holidays.

Visitors should dress respectfully and be prepared to follow the cemetery’s rules and regulations, which include no smoking, no eating or drinking, and no pets except for service animals. Visitors should also be prepared for a lot of walking, as the cemetery covers a large area.


Arlington National Cemetery is a solemn and powerful tribute to the men and women who have served and sacrificed for the United States. Whether you are a history buff, a military veteran, or simply a concerned citizen, a visit to Arlington National Cemetery is a must-see experience that will leave a lasting impression. Plan your visit today and pay your respects to the heroes who have made America great.

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