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What is Arlington Cemetery?

Arlington Cemetery, better known as Arlington National Cemetery, is located in Arlington, Virginia and is the resting place for those who served honorably in United States military; criteria have also been established for others to be buried who have not served. The cemetery was established during the Civil War and is located on the grounds of Robert E. Lee's estate – the land was originally the property of his wife, a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington. The Department of the Army administers the site.

Basic facts

More than four million people visit Arlington Cemetery each year. Funeral services are held daily, with more than one hundred conducted every week. The cemetery has a visitors' center with maps, guidebooks, exhibits, and information on many of those who are buried there.

The official honor guard at the cemetery is the 3rd U.S. Infantry, participating in more than 16,000 services each year. Known as the “Old Guard” it is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army.

In addition to the visitors' center, the grounds also house the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Memorial Amphitheater, and many monuments and memorials. Many more points of interest are within the site. It is a noble commemorative effort for the nation's deceased military.

Burial at Arlington Cemetery

For those seeking to have a family member (or members) interred at the cemetery, there are criteria which must be met before permission is granted. The criteria are different for different types of interment – burial, cremation and columbarium inurnment, and interment of cremated remains in unmarked areas. The cemetery's website provides complete details.

Points of special interest

There are many points of historical interest in Arlington Cemetery. Among these are:

  • Black history and Black Medal of Honor Winners
  • Japanese-American Service Members
  • Jewish Service Members
  • American Revolutionary War Veterans
  • World War II Medal of Honor Recipients

    There are many more places of interest within the grounds, and a complete guide can be found at the Visitors' Center.

    Arlington Cemetery is a fitting tribute to those who have died during or following service in America's military. It assists military families with funeral services as well as being an historical reminder of those who have served with a sense of duty and honor.

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