While in DC we went to Arlington Cemetery. With all of the times we have been to DC in the last 10.5 years, I (Ryan) have never been to Arlington Cemetery. It was a very humbling experience.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This picture was taken shortly before the changing of the guards. They change every 30 minutes. They stand at one end for 21 seconds, turn and walk 21 steps to the other side, where they stand for 21 seconds, etc. 21 is symbolic of the 21 gun salute which is the highest honor one can receive at a funeral. The main tomb which you can see is the unknown soldier from World War I and on the ground in front of it is the tombs for WWII, Korean, and Vietnam. However in 1998 the remains of the Vietnam Soldier were exhumed and identified with the help of mitochondrial DNA. I wish you could read the inscription on the tomb, it reads: "Here rests in honored glory an american soldier known but to God."
Contrary to popular belief the headstones are not lined up for aesthetics. They primary purpose of their arrangement is to symbolize soldiers in formation.
Best view in town
This is the final resting place of Pierre Charles L'Enfant. He was a revolutionary soldier from 1775-1783 and engineer. He was instrumental in designing the city of Washington. What a great place to rest. Pictures just simply don't do justice. This spot has an amazing view of the heart of DC. You can see, obviously, the Washington monument, the capital, and many other monuments on the mall.
Just behind me, while taking Pierre's grave, is General Lee's home. When General Lee took up his position to lead the Southern army the North decided as a disgrace to him they would bury the dead on his property. Kinda ironic how it has become one of the most honored places in the area.
When visiting DC, I highly recommend a visit to Arlington Cemetery. Don't wait as long as I did.