Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is a military cemetery in the United States of America. It is in Arlington County, Virginia on a hillside rising above the Potomac River and overlooking Washington, D.C. (it’s just behind the Lincoln Memorial).
Its Mission is
On behalf of the American people, to lay to rest those who have served our nation with dignity and honor, treating their families with respect and compassion, and connecting guests to the rich tapestry of the cemetery’s living history, while maintaining these hallowed grounds befitting the sacrifice of all those who rest here in quiet repose.
And the Vision is
America’s premier military cemetery – A national shrine – A living history of freedom – Where dignity and honor rest in solemn repose.
This 19th-century mansion has more than 250,000 military grave sites that stretch out around it. It was not intended to be a national cemetery.
Arlington is both a national treasure and an active cemetery. It is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. Service to country is the common thread that binds all who are remembered and honored here.
The cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funerals each week day and between six and eight services on Saturdays – nearly 7,000 services per year. The cemetery also hosts more than 3,000 ceremonies per year, including wreath-laying ceremonies for national and international dignitaries; memorial and remembrance services; services honoring specialized groups, units and historical events; and national observances for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. More than 3 million people visit
Arlington National Cemetery is divided into 70 sections. Section 60, in the southeast part of the cemetery, is the burial ground for military personnel killed in the Global War on Terror since 2001. Section 21, also known as the Nurses Section, is the area of Arlington National Cemetery where many nurses are buried and is the site of the Nurses Memorial. Another section—Chaplains Hill—includes monuments to Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic military chaplains. Confederate soldiers buried at the Soldiers’ Home and various locations within Arlington were reinterred in a Confederate section. More than 3,800 former slaves, called “Contrabands” during the Civil War, are buried in Section 27. Their headstones are designated with the word “Civilian” or “Citizen”.
Tour the Cemetery on the OnBoard Mount Vernon & Arlington Cemetery Tour
The OnBoard Mount Vernon & Arlington Cemetery Tour now includes Arlington Cemetery! Your tour guide will show you the Tomb of the Unknowns, where you can watch the Changing of the Guard. You will also see Lee Mansion and the Kennedy grave sites. Check out the Mount Vernon Tour.
Walking Tour of Arlington National Cemetery
You can take a walking tour which includes stops at President JFK’s gravesite, the Tomb of the Unknowns where you will witness the time honored tradition of the Changing of the Guard, Joe Louis and Audie Murphy’s gravesites. It take about two hours.