We have lived in the Northern Virginia Area for 5 years so friends were shocked when they found out we hadn’t taken our children to visit Arlington National Cemetery.
It has always been a dream of mine to take my children to the cemetery however past experiences have made me not want to visit. You see, when I was in both middle and high school I visited Arlington National Cemetery. I excitedly walked miles and miles to each spot on the map. To make a long story short, afterwards I had severe blisters for days.
Many people don’t realize that Arlington National Cemetery is four times the size of the National Mall and covers 600 acres. Those acres are now the final resting place to 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. Due to the uphill layout of the cemetery, it can be quite a difficult trek for young children and the elderly.
I was elated when I found out that Arlington National Cemetery now has trolley tours. You can see and experience the beauty and history of the cemetery by these 45-minute hop on/hop off tours. The tours are given by educated tour guides and stop along many of the 30 monuments/memorials in the cemetery. You may disembark whenever you’d like and hop back on when you’d like to visit the next stop. It’s super easy and fun.
A few weekends ago my family and I were able to experience the Arlington National Cemetery Tour and we absolutely loved it. We were able to see and experience so much of the cemetery that we thought we never could with our two young children.
Our children loved riding along and hearing about the gravesites, monuments and more. It was so fun only having to walk a few feet to touch a bit of history. No blisters and no uphill miles of walking from one stop to the next.
Here are some of the sites we were able to see on the tour:
The Gravesites of John F. Kennedy, Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, their two infants and Robert and Edward Kennedy.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24/7/365 by volunteer Sentinels from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. We were able to experience the Changing of the Guard which was a beautiful honor.
The Memorial Amphitheater is breathtaking holds three major annual memorial services every year. The services take place on Easter, Memorial Day and Veterans Day and are sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
This is the Women In Military Service for America Memorial
The Price of Freedom is a 12-foot high 1,800 lb bronze sculpture. The sculpture includes a guardian angel holding a dying unknown soldier, a globe, and seven bronze figures at the top: five men in uniform representing the armed forces during World War II, a woman representing the nurse corps during World War II and a woman representing Rosie the Riveter. Twenty plaques adorn the bottom of the sculpture. Isn’t it breathtaking?
We adored our Arlington National Cemetery Tour. We created memories that will last a lifetime and we can’t wait to do it again soon!
To find out more about Arlington National Cemetery tours or to purchase tickets click here.