Saturday, May 26, 2012

Where To Visit: Arlington National Cemetery


It’s officially summertime! Memorial Day weekend means pools are open, grills are hot, and if you are a girl, this weekend signifies that it is that time of year when our bangs stick to our face after being outside for more than thirty seconds. In fact, as you are reading this I am (hopefully) sitting by the pool, drinking a cool beverage, and attempting to transform my pale skin from translucent to tan. Fortunately, my family is only an hour-ish away so when Lola and I need to escape the hot and sticky nation’s capital, we head west where family pools are Pug friendly. (Yes, Lola wears a life jacket. What kind of Pug mama do you think I am? Safety first, people!)

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But, per usual, I am getting off topic. Memorial Day is so much more than grilling out and welcoming summer. I would be remiss if I didn’t take time to recognize the reason we have this holiday - honoring the men and women that bravely serve our country. Thank you to everyone reading that serves, or has served, our great nation; I am extremely grateful for your service! A special thank you goes to Travis and Luke, two very good friends that served several tours of duty in Iraq. I am proud to know you, gentlemen.
  
If you are staying in D.C. this weekend, I recommend taking time to visit Arlington National Cemetery. The Arlington Cemetery is one of those places we tend to run by, or take tourists when they come to town, but rarely stop to appreciate ourselves; and during Memorial Day weekend, it’s even more special. For nearly 50 years, The Old Guard has been honoring America’s fallen heroes by placing a flag at the grave of service men and women buried in Arlington. Not only do soldiers place flags on each grave in a three hour "Flags In" ceremony, but they also remain in the cemetery throughout the weekend to ensure that a flag remains at each gravestone.

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In addition to Flags In, a group of volunteers will also place a rose on each grave, as well. According to an article on ARL.now, volunteers will hand out roses from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Monday. The two main stations are in front of the visitors center and in section 60, which is the burial ground for those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering should contact Memorial Day Flowers through its website.

Finally, Arlington Cemetery also hosts several Memorial Day events throughout the day, including various ceremonies and choir performances. A full schedule is found here.

So this weekend as you drink a beer and cheers to the long weekend, consider visiting Arlington Cemetery and paying your respects to those men and women that bravely served our country. The Arlington National Cemetery Station is accessed by the Blue Line. There is also a Metrobus stop on Memorial Drive. Public parking is available, as well.

Thank you again to all the members of our military, and happy start of summer!

It's A Smile... It's A Kiss... It's a Sip of Wine - It's Summertime (Kenny Chesney, for all of you that are not fans),




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