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Video:Tips for Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

with Heidi Dehncke-Fisher

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery can be a profound experience that is a must-do when touring Washington, D.C. Here are some tips for visiting Arlington National Cemetery.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

Of all the places in Washington, D.C. perhaps Arlington National Cemetery is the most profound. Four million people a year walk these hallowed grounds steeped in history, memory, and remembrance.

History of Arlington National Cemetery

Admission is free. Over 300,000 people are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. And this includes veterans from every war the U.S. has fought, dating as far back as the Revolutionary War to recent times in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cemetery spans 200 acres and opened June 15, 1864. The grounds house Arlington Mansion and were purchased by the Congress from Custis Lee, Robert E. Lee’s oldest son, on March 3, 1883 for $150,000. The Memorial Amphitheatre was dedicated in 1920 and conducts three major ceremonies a year, commemorating American Service members.

What to See When Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

Many important historical figures grace the grounds at Arlington. There are 19 astronauts, nine explorers (including Robert Peary and Richard Byrd), four chief justices and eight associate justices. Musician and composer Glen Miller was a major in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was given an honorary headstone after missing in action in 1944, as were First Lt. Audie Murphy, and both Robert and Edward Kennedy.

Some of the women buried here include those who transformed medical care in the military, the arts, or contributed to their husband’s efforts who were high ranking officers. And of course, also buried are Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy.

In order to be buried at Arlington, one must qualify under the eligibility requirements. The Changing of The Guard ceremony at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier happens every 30 minutes from April to September and on the hour during winter. The Tomb commemorates unidentified service members lost in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Tips for Getting to the Arlington National Cemetery

The Cemetery is located just southwest of the Lincoln Memorial, just over the Boundary Channel Bridge via Memorial Avenue and resides in Virginia. Visitors can make the trip quickly from the heart of D.C. 365 days a year.

The cemetery opens at 8AM with hours extended to 7PM in the warmer months (April to September). The Metrorail Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center lines stop near the front entrance and parking costs $1.75 an hour for the first three hours and then $2.50 per hour until closing. Arlington National Cemetery is also served by Tourmobile.

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