If you've been to Arlington Cemetery before and it was on an eighth-grade trip, well, it's time for a return visit. Especially now.
It's easy to skip the four war stories printed in any given newspaper, but it's impossible to ignore a caravan of slow-moving black cars or the expanses of uniform gravestones lining the quiet hills. Most majestic is the Tomb of the Unknowns, marked with these words:
"Here rests in
Known but to God"
Every day and night, in every manner of weather, vigilant watch is maintained over the tomb by members of the prestigious 3rd U.S. Infantry "Old Guard" Regiment. With mesmerizing precision, they walk before the marble monument, emanating reverence with each exacting step. Every 30 minutes from mid - March through September, and every hour during fall and winter, the guard is changed in a stirring 10-minute ceremony.
Honored glory, indeed.
Tip: It's a pretty hearty hike up the hill, so if you have anyone with special needs, now is the time to bring along that handicapped parking pass. There's also a shuttle that will bring you to the highlights, including the Kennedy graves, if walking isn't an option.
--Ellen McCarthy (Friday, March 9, 2012)