|Site 32 Cherry Hill Campground|
I checked in to the Cherry Hill Campground and was assigned site number 32. During check-in, they informed me
|Metro Train Entrance/Exit|
The next morning I showed up a the bus stop bright and early around 9:30. If you go into town any earlier, you have to deal with all of the people going into town to work.
Today's adventure was to be Arlington National Cemetery. The Cemetery had it first burial 150 years ago this month and is definitely sacred ground. To get there, I would have to ride one bus and two trains. The Arlington Metro Station is located about 1/4 mile from the entrance. The bus ride went well, although it was standing room only by the time we got to the College Park Metro Station. Once in the station, I had two choices of directions. One would take me into town and the other would take me away from town. I got on the Green line heading to Branch Avenue and planned to get off at L'Enfant Circle and change trains to the Blue line heading to Franconia-Springfield and get off at Arlington Cemetery. I chose the correct direction and headed off. It was a little different once I got to L'Enfant Circle where I needed to change trains. There were 4 routes that went through L'Enfant with 2 directions per train, so that meant I had 8 choices. At least at College Park I had a 50% chance of making the correct choice but now it was 1 in 8 or 12.5% chance. Visions of an antelope in lion country on the plains of Africa came to mind as I wandered around the station looking for the correct train. I walked confidently, even when I made U-turns, so it would appear as if I knew where I was going and what I was doing. I finally found the right platform and got on the train. A few stops later, I arrived at Arlington Station and walked up out of the darkness of the tunnels into the light.
As you enter the cemetery, you have to go through the visitor center. This is also the first place that had a bathroom
closest to the crowd to indicate he is in a defensive posture to protect the tomb from possible harm.
The Tomb of the Unknowns began in the 1920's with the
remains of an unknown soldier from World War 1. In 1958, President Eisenhower added the remains from World War 2 and Korea. President Reagan oversaw the internment of the Vietnam unknown in 1984 but 10 years later the body was exhumed after it was identified using
|Relief Guard being Inspected|
|The changing of the guard|
"Here rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God".
The next stop on the tour is Arlington House which was the home, for 30 years, of General Robert E. Lee and his
|View from Arlington House|
|View from Arlington House|
|Gardens of Stone|
that property taxes must be paid "in person". Well the Lee's knew if they showed up to pay the taxes, they would be captured by the Union soldiers, so they sent a representative with the $92.07 for the taxes. The government would not recognize the representative and therefore foreclosed on the property. Burials of Union troops began shortly afterwards,
in 1864, with the plan to bury as many as possible before the end of the war. If the Lee's were able to return to Arlington House, then they would have to live with Union troops buried around the house. The Lee's never returned and never regained
|U.S.S. Maine Memorial|
possession of the place. However, several years after the war, their son filed suit and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government did not acquire the property correctly and ordered it to be returned. The son then sold it to the government for $150,000.00.
Arlington is truly a sacred place and should always be treated with honor. As I was looking over the many head stones, I was reminded of some of the lyrics to Trace Adkins song Arlington. If you haven't heard the song, it is sung from the perspective of a person being buried at Arlington. The part I thought of goes, "And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property. I'm on sacred ground and in the best of company. I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done, I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington."
I discovered there is one Goza buried here. He was a Captain in the U.S. Navy and served in both WW1 and WW2. He was buried in 1964.
After the tour, I walked back to the Metro Station and returned to the campground late in the afternoon hungry and tired. I drove down the road looking for a Taco Bell but had to settle for a steakhouse. Next door was a Baskin-Robbins and I ended the day with a scoop of Butter Pecan which I ate sitting on a bench in a strip mall in Washington D.C. thinking about how good the day had been and looking forward to more adventures the next day. Wow, what a life.
Ya'll take care of each other. Cya.