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Arlington National Cemetery On An 8th Grade School Trip

Posted by Michaela Ruffino on August 13, 2019

Arlington National Cemetery On An 8th Grade School Trip

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. These are the things to see at Arlington National Cemetery on an 8th-grade school trip.

  • Arlington House 

  • Tomb of The Unknown Soldier and Changing Of The Guard Ritual 

Arlington House 

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. In later years, Robert E. Lee called Arlington House home for 30+ years. During the Civil War, Robert resigned his commission in the U.S. Army to accept the position as commander of the Confederate forces. The Arlington 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. Today, until Fall of 2020, the Arlington House is closed for Rehabilitation. 

Tomb of The Unknown Soldier and Changing Of The Guard Ritual

During your 8th grade school trip visiting Arlington National Cemetery, you will want to see the Changing of The Guard at the 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier'. This memorial is Arlington National Cemetery's most iconic stop for visitors. 

Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I on March 4, 1921. The burial started in France and transferred to Washington, D.C. The unknown arrived in Washington with honor on November 9th, 2021. For many years after, thousands of visitors came to pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Due to the disrespect on the memorial, Congress established a military guard to protect the Tomb during daylight hours.  Additional burials now share the same location from World War II, Korean War and once the Vietnam War. 

On July 2, 1937 at midnight, the Army started protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier  for 24 hours.  On April 6, 1948, the Sentinels of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, otherwise known as the "The Old Guard", gained  their duties over the Tomb. The Sentinels officiate a ceremony that visitors witness. 

8th grade students may participate in a ceremonial wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown, which is a privilege only bestowed upon political dignitaries, high-ranking military officials, and students. 


Arlington National Cemetery contains the remains of more than 400,000 people from the United States and 11 other countries. When visiting Arlington National Cemetery on an 8th grade school trip to Washington, D.C, be sure to see these two memorials. 


View our Washington, D.C. Itinerary!


Topics: arlington national cemetary, Washington DC

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