Tag Archives: Washington DC

Arlington, VA

Arlington National Cemetery. Photo Credit: "Graves with flags" © 2012 by Alan Kotok (CC BY 2.0)

Arlington National Cemetery. Photo Credit: “Graves with flags” © 2012 by Alan Kotok (CC BY 2.0)

People love Memorial Day because it usually grants them a day off from work or school, offers steep discounts at retailers, and kicks off the summer season with barbecues, picnics, and trips to the beach. However, with all this excitement, people might forget the purpose of the holiday, which is to remember the numerous brave soldiers who have died in military service to the United States.

One place where it is hard to forget the true meaning of the holiday is Arlington, Virginia, home to the Arlington National Cemetery. According to the cemetery’s official website:

The primary mission of Arlington National Cemetery is to function as the nation’s premier military cemetery and shrine honoring those men and women who served in the Armed Forces. The cemetery conducts an average of 27 funerals each weekday … [and] hosts more than 3 million visitors a year. More than 3,000 ceremonies take place at the cemetery each year as well. Dignitaries from around the world come to Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to the nation’s fallen heroes. In addition, organizations also host remembrance ceremonies and events at Arlington.

This year actually marks the cemetery’s 150th anniversary. The first soldiers were laid to rest there in May 1864, and now it is the final resting place of about 400,000 soldiers (nearly double the population of Arlington itself). Various events will be held over the course of a month at the cemetery to commemorate the momentous occasion.

If you aren’t able to make it to Arlington for the Memorial Day weekend or the cemetery’s 150th anniversary celebrations, don’t worry because Arlington still has a lot to offer throughout the rest of the year. Warm summers, good schools, outstanding lifestyle amenities, and its tie to the government make it an attractive place to settle for families and individuals alike, not to mention its relatively high home values.

The county’s proximity to Washington, D.C. and extensive public transportation system means it has easy access to the nation’s Capitol without being directly located in the city. It is also home to many federal organizations such as the Department of Defense, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration, making it a great place for those with aspirations to work in the government.

The Pentagon Memorial. Photo Credit: "Memorial at night" © 2009 by Mike Myers (CC BY 2.0)

The Pentagon Memorial. Photo Credit: “Memorial at night” © 2009 by Mike Myers (CC BY 2.0)

In addition to the Arlington National Cemetery, the county is also the location of the Pentagon Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial, and the United States Air Force Memorial.