If you're in the DC area this weekend, don't miss Arlington National Cemetery. It's a national treasure all year round, but it's stunning and awe-inspiring when the flags are placed for Memorial Day.
In addition to the conventional stops - the tomb on the unknown soldier, the Kennedy memorial, etc. - be sure to visit the modern columbarium (which is quite impressive). And take a stroll through one of the most active areas, Section 60.
Section 60 contains graves of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. March 19, 2013 was the ten-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion. By 2010, pre-Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans began being included in Section 60. The Army’s Center of Military History (CMH) photographs objects (typically left by families) determined to have unusual, artistic, or historical significance during their weekly collection visits. From these materials, they select objects for retention in the Army's permanent collection at the Museum Support Facility at Fort Belvoir. (Today, atop the marker adjacent to my father's stone, rested a 2012 Marine Corp Marathon medal.)
Enjoy your holiday weekend!
p.s. things look very different during the holiday season, with the laying of wreaths, the absence of leaves, and less vibrant green grass - see below...
Oh it is a must if you've never been over Memorial Day or Veteran's Day. Look at the youth which have sacrificed so much for our Freedom here and around the world. Spend the entire day walking the grounds of any national cemetery, but if in D.C. as ssindc mentions go to Arlington.
I have only had the opportunity to visit Washington D. C. once and toured many of the major monuments, museums and buildings. The site that left a lasting impression on me beyond all of the others is Arlington National Cemetery. It is truly a national treasure and very special place. If I ever find myself in D.C. again, it will be at the top of my to do list.