Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Arlington National Cemetery & The Pentagon Memorial

Last weekend Matt and I decided to be tourists in our own area. I had been saying for a while that I wanted to visit Arlington National Cemetery. I have never visited in my six years of living here. I also wanted to visit the Pentagon Memorial, another place neither of us have been.

We left our house early on Saturday to run a quick errand with plans to head to our destinations for the day right after. When we left the house it was actually a little chilly to be wearing shorts and a tank top. By the time we got to the Pentagon I sure was glad I was wearing the shorts and tank top. It was hot, and more devastatingly it was humid. We circled the Pentagon quite a few times before we figured out that you can for sure park no where near the memorial. We found some parking on Army Navy Drive and then walked over.

The area of the Pentagon when the plane crashed
The Pentagon Memorial is the third in the trio of 9/11 memorials that Matt and I have visited. I think the most intriguing thing in each of the memorials is all the symbolism that goes into them. Everything that is part of the memorial has meaning, even the wall around it. Each person who died at the Pentagon has a bench with their name on the edge of it. If you can see their name when facing the sky they died in the plane that crashed. If you can see the name when looking at the Pentagon, they were working in the building that day. I'm really glad we visited. It was a nice memorial. I recommend it if you are in the area, just remember there is no parking at the Pentagon.

Arlington House and Edward Kennedy Gravesite
After we finished up at the Pentagon, we headed over to Arlington National Cemetery. They are actually kind of like neighbors. At this point it was incredibly hot and humid. We probably should have brought our water bottles out of the car and maybe had a snack. We stopped in the visitor's center and got a map and plotted out our course for the morning. Matt wanted to see President Taft's grave so we headed there first. We had to walk up a small hill to get there. After that we started heading back through the cemetery passing Lincoln's son's tomb. We then decided to go all the way up to the Arlington House at the top of the hill. It was a hike. I'm not kidding you. About halfway there I told Matt walking around Arlington National Cemetery was harder than the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. It might have been the heat, it might have been that I was hungry, or I might have been being dramatic, but I really was not loving the walk up to the Arlington House. 

Kennedy Family and the Eternal Flame
When you get to the Arlington house, though, it's a great view of Washington. You can see in the picture at the top of the post. Matt was having great conversations with the Park Rangers while I stood in front of their fan. I was really glad to be walking downhill to the Kennedy Family gravesite and the eternal flame after that.

Changing of the Guard
We finished our day in the cemetery by walking over to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We also wanted to see the changing of the guard. We made it just in time to watch. This was my favorite part of the day. If you are going to visit Arlington I highly recommend you visit this area on the hour, or half hour, so you can watch. After watching the change and the guard for a little while we walked back to the car and headed into DC to finally have something to eat. I was starving!!!

Tomb of the Unknown
We had these plans to go to Grilled Cheese DC, or GCDC, a grilled cheese bar, but when we arrived looking like hot mess, hungry tourists they were closed. I almost cried. Very thankfully there were a plethora of other places to eat on the same street. We selected Taylor and had regular sandwiches. I had wanted to go to Taylor anyway. They opened one in our old neighborhood just as we moved out. It was a really good sandwich. Everything was really fresh and their bread was also really good!

We were very close to the White House when we were eating. We decided to walk past it on our way back to the car. It was an interesting walk. We saw a protest and the lady that lives in the tent across from the White House was also out and about talking to people. I had never seen her close up and was intrigued. Finally as we headed through the park, I think a guy though Matt was Abraham Lincoln. As we walked past he started yelling, "Abraham Lincoln, you nasty stinkin' dirty ho!" Good thing Matt likes Abe.

No comments:

Post a Comment