Things To Know Before Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is an incredibly beautiful place filled with historical value. It’s the final resting place for many of the country’s veterans—those who gave everything in the defense of the United States throughout several conflicts. However, there are a few things to know before visiting Arlington National Cemetery for a smooth trip.

Prepare for a Trek

Arlington is a much larger location than many visitors expect. When you arrive, you should be prepared to walk a lot if you intend to see the cemetery in its entirety. To this end, comfortable shoes are a given, and if you’re visiting during the summer or spring, bringing water and sunscreen is also a good idea. Shade is in short supply, so it’s easy for the heat to become overwhelming once you’ve been walking for some time.

Cemetery Etiquette

The next and most important thing to know before visiting Arlington National Cemetery is that observing etiquette and social awareness is crucial. Arlington is as emotionally charged as it is beautiful, and for some people visiting fallen friends and loved ones, this especially resonates with them. If you intend to take pictures, we recommend you follow a few rules of etiquette to ensure you don’t disturb any of the other guests either from flash photography or getting in the way as you try to snap that perfect shot. Everyone deserves to enjoy their time at Arlington, but achieving this takes everyone’s cooperation and care.

Landmarks and Events

You should keep in mind a few notable landmarks and events if you hope to see everything at Arlington. To begin, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a must-see, as it’s a landmark honoring soldiers who fell in combat but who were never recovered or identified. Other good landmarks to visit include the grave of President John F. Kennedy, the graves of the astronauts who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, and Arlington House. Finally, we’d like to mention the Changing of the Guard, an elaborate ceremony that occurs every hour at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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