Cycling and Arlington Cemetery Don't Mix

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Regarding the May 29 letter "Arlington Cemetery: No Place for Bikes?"

I appreciate David Jordan's wish to observe Memorial Day by going to Arlington National Cemetery. I was there, too, visiting the graves of family members. I understand his frustration at being denied entry on a bicycle, but perhaps some enlightenment would help. In the 1990s, there was a request to open the cemetery to cycling commuters who were looking for a shortcut to work. Along with many others, I strongly protested this request, for obvious reasons: Arlington National Cemetery is a sacred place, and it should be treated with reverence and respect. The prospect of bicycling commuters using it as a way to get to work was abhorrent. Fortunately, Superintendent John Metzler agreed.

As for the cars that Mr. Jordan referred to: I would imagine that many contained immediate family members of those buried there. The average citizen or tourist would not be permitted to drive onto the cemetery grounds. Mr. Jordan was not denied the opportunity to visit because he was not in a car. If he had wanted to visit the cemetery on foot, I'm sure he would have enjoyed it and could have found a spot to leave his bicycle.

I hope he will make a return visit soon, perhaps on the Fourth of July or to see all the beautiful wreaths at Christmas.

JO WILLIAMSON

Annapolis

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