Our first day in DC we covered A LOT of ground. We’re talking lots of miles but it was well worth it.
We started at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The cemetery is really large and has so much history to take in.
Every life represented had a story to tell and deserves respect.
As you tour the cemetery, you can see the Pentagon and the Washington Monument in the distance from different angles of the cemetery.
Some of the highlights for us were the John F Kennedy burial site and watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.
The changing of the guard happens every hour, on the hour. The ceremony is filled with so much honor and tradition.
You can learn more about it here. This is something you want to make sure you see.
It was extremely humbling to be surrounded by reminders of so many who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
We left our vehicle in the parking lot and walked across the bridge to the Lincoln Memorial.
The architecture was amazing! So much detail and such a testimony of the craftsmanship that was built to last.
The day we went the area was busy with tourist in every direction. I’m sure that is the case most days. Which makes for pictures with random guys in the background.
The statue of Lincoln was so regal and I loved reading his inspiring quotes on the wall.
The views from the top gave a great view of the city to take in. The ground level of the memorial also had a museum about Lincoln. Lincoln was so respected that other countries have even used his face on their currency.
We headed toward the Washington monument next after taking a few pics.
At the end of the reflection pool is the WW2 Memorial.
This was one of my favorites because of the energy and emotion you got to watch first hand as veterans were experiencing the memorial for the first time.
My grandfather and both of my husband’s grandparents served in WW2. One of my husband’s grandparents was one of the few survivors when a kamikaze hit their naval ship. He became a POW and was eventually released. I cannot begin the imagine what our grandparents have experienced and seen during times of war.
My son and I took a picture in our birth state to honor my grandfather, who was also a Kentucky native.
It was surreal to watch the mixed emotions of the veterans who had been transported to DC just to see the memorial.
My husband’s grandfather who served in Iwo Jima, got to come last year with a group of veterans. The Honor Network is non profit committed to transporting as many of the remaining WW2 veterans to the site as possible. I’m so glad that so many of them were able to see this place dedicated in their honor.
We were walking among living legends who are a generation that is quickly dying off.
I also noticed younger veterans at the memorial that were our age, who were wheelchair bound.
It was a reminder that there are still people who are fighting and lives have been forever changed to protect our freedom. We made it a point to try to shake hands and thank the veterans that we came in contact with. I want my boys to understand that freedom isn’t free and that they are people who have and still are fighting for our freedom.
After several other sights, we made our way to the Vietnam Memorial.
This list of names is almost overwhelming when you really stop and think about each name representing a family. A name that had hopes and dreams that were cut short.
After viewing the memorial, we made our way back to Arlington Cemetery to our vehicle. Yes-that was A LOT of walking but it was well worth it.
On our way back we witnessed a parade in honor of all of the women who have served in the military.
I highlighted just a few of the free places that you can see in Washington, D.C. The only cost that day was our parking at Arlington National Cemetery. Look for more free in DC places in future posts.
If you would like a way to personally honor a veteran you can give to the Disabled AmericanVeterans.