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Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery Review
More than 330,000 American war dead, as well as many notable Americans (among them Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, General John Pershing, and Admiral Robert E. Peary), are interred in these 624 acres across the Potomac River from Washington, established as the nation's cemetery in 1864. While you're here, there's a good chance you might hear the clear, doleful sound of a trumpet playing taps or the sharp reports of a gun salute. There are an average of 27 funerals held every weekday (it's projected that the cemetery will be filled in 2060). Another five to seven funerals are held on Saturdays for people who did not require or request military honors. Although not the largest cemetery in the country, Arlington is certainly the best known, a place where you can trace America's history through the aftermath of its battles.
To get here, you can take the Metro, travel on a ANC Tours bus, or walk across Arlington Memorial Bridge (southwest of the Lincoln Memorial). If you're driving, there's a large paid-parking lot at the skylighted visitors center on Memorial Drive. Stop at the center for a free brochure with a detailed map of the cemetery. If you're looking for a specific grave, the staff can consult microfilm records and give you directions to it. You should know the deceased's full name and, if possible, his or her branch of service and year of death.
Martz Gray Line tour buses leave every 15-25 minutes from just outside the visitors center April through September, daily 8:30-6:30, and October through March, daily 8:30-4:30. You can buy tickets here for the 40-minute tour of the cemetery, which includes stops at the Kennedy gravesites, the Tomb of the Unknowns, and Arlington House. Touring the cemetery on foot means a fair bit of hiking, but it can give you a closer look at some of the thousands of graves spread over these rolling Virginia hills. If you decide to walk, head west from the visitors center on Roosevelt Drive and then turn right on Weeks Drive.
- Address: West end of Memorial Bridge, Arlington, Washington, DC, 22211 | Map It
- Phone: 877/907-8585 for general information and to locate a grave
- Cost: Free, parking $1.75 per hr for first three hours, $2.50 thereafter, Martz Gray Line bus $8.75
- Hours: Apr.--Sept., daily 8--7; Oct.--Mar., daily 8--5
- Website: www.arlingtoncemetery.mil
- Metro Arlington Cemetery.
- Location: Arlington
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