Probably 90 percent of visitors at Arlington National Cemetery walk through the middle of the 660 acres to John F. Kennedy’s Eternal Flame and then cross over to the Tomb of the Unknowns for the changing of the guard. Some also see Arlington House.
They are so missing out on what makes Arlington my favorite site in the Washington area.
The best parts of Arlington are far from the tourist hot spots. The places where the endless rows of white headstones stretch beyond your vision and the silence is so entrancing you lose yourself to the energy of the cemetery.
I love the rear of the cemetery past the Tomb while heading to the border of Fort Myer. But recently, I was entranced walking along Sherman Drive behind Arlington House where Section 29 drops down to meet the bottom of Section 28 where Lincoln connects with Mitchell. To put it another way, walk out the side entrance by the women’s memorial past William Howard Taft’s grave to the next section ahead.
Look at the photo above – do you feel the endless energy of those stones?
Next time you visit Arlington, break away from the traditional stops and find outlying areas that seem like an isolated oasis and you’ll feel what Arlington is really all about.