Arlington National Cemetery

Washington DC, Class Trip Top Ten Things to See : Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is our nation’s most honored burial ground with a history that links George Washington to Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln to John F. Kennedy. It is the resting place for more than 400,000 American military men and women and their dependents.

George Washington’s family once owned the land now occupied by the cemetery, and legend has it that the first president himself stood on the bluff now occupied by Arlington House to survey the future site of the nation’s capital.

Robert E. Lee then called Arlington House home for 30+ years. Then, when he resigned his commission in the U.S. Army to accept the position as commander of the Confederate forces in the Civil War the house became headquarters for the Union defense of the capital.

It was the tragedy of the Civil War, and the sheer vindictiveness of one Union officer, that led to the creation of Arlington Cemetery.

During your class visit to Arlington National Cemetery, you will want to see the Changing of The Guard at the 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier'. You may also participate in ceremonial wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown, which is a privilege only bestowed upon political dignitaries, high-ranking military officials and students. Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry- “The Old Guard”- keep watch over the tomb.

Also in the cemetery are the President William Howard Taft Memorial, the USS Maine memorial, the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial, and the Iran Rescue Mission Monument.

These sites are some of the most notable in the cemetery, but if you would like to know more, feel free to consult the Arlington National Cemetery app.

Arlington is definitely a must-do on your next class trip to Washington D.C., which is why it falls at the top of our Top 10 list!

Make it part of your class trip planning on your next Washington DC tour.