Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Arlington National Cemetery

Today, we decided to head to Arlington Cemetery to watch the "changing of the guards" at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Unbeknownst to us, there was a big wreath laying ceremony going on and so many, many people were there and we had a hard time seeing over everyone.  Christy had a better view and got better pictures than I did with her new fancy, schmancy camera.  I'm jealous.


The Tomb of the Unknowns (also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Myer, Va.

It was all too much for Caden.  Can you find him in the picture below?  He's wearing red and is asleep.

After the ceremony, we headed over to the gravesites of President John F Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy, an infant son who only lived 2 days, and a daughter who was born stillborn.

The Kennedy graves and the Eternal Flame - the Eternal Flame was requested by Jackie two days after President Kennedy was assassinated and the gas lines were laid that very night.  She was inspired by the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

This is the gravesite of President John F Kennedy's younger brother, Robert Kennedy, who was also assassinated.

The kids were too tired and hungry after all the walking we did today to continue any further so we're planning a return trip to find the graves of President William H. Taft, polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd, North Pole explorer Robert Peary, North Pole explorer Matthew Henson, highly decorated WWII soldier Audie Murphy, Medgar Evers, Astronaut Robert Overmyer (I went on a blind  date once with his son in college and didn't know he had died until I was searching the Arlington Cemetery website today), the Memorial and partial remains of the crew of the Challenger Space Shuttle, the Iwo Jima Memorial , Arlington House (Robert E Lee mansion) and the many other memorials.

Interesting facts:

  • There are 15-30 funerals in Arlington Cemetery everyday.

  • Three unknown servicemen were buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns.  One was from WWII.  One was from the Korean war and one was from the Vietnam War.

  • The unknown soldier from the Vietnam War was disinterred and identified in 1998 and later reburied near his family.

  • More than 300,000 people are buried in Arlington Cemetery.