Arlington House ~ The Robert E. Lee Memorial
Arlington House was built by George Washington Parke Custis and his slaves between 1802 and 1818. His daughter, Mary Custis, great-granddaughter of First Lady Martha Washington, married Robert E. Lee. The Lees inherited Arlington House when her father passed away. Arlington House has a long, interesting history ~ it’s been a home for the Lee Family and Custis Families, a plantation estate and home to 63 slaves, a monument honoring George Washington, a military headquarters, a community for emancipated slaves and is currently a National Cemetery.
We stayed for the changing of the guard ceremony which takes place on the hour (Oct-March) and every half hour (April -Sept). Note: the ceremony may seem “over” but don’t start talking until you leave the site of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.” We were “shusshed” for whispering after the ceremony. I cringe at that as I would never want to be disrespectful in such a place of honor.
Gravestone of George W. George ~ I tried to find more information about him but there wasn’t much on the internet. One of the fascinating things about Arlington Cemetery is all the famous people buried there. It reminded me of when I went through the National Portrait Gallery in London. I wanted to look up the stories of all the names I saw. I’m sure there’s an interesting life story behind all of those graves.
Burial site of Pierre L’Enfant, a French-born American civil engineer who designed the streets of Washington DC in the late 1700s. His grave has sweeping views of Washington DC ~ including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol.
If you visit Arlington Cemetery, check out their site here. The cemetery is open 7 Days a week, 365 days a year. The hours are 8am – 7pm (April – September) and 8am – 5pm (October – March). The parking garage closes 1 hour after cemetery. From the Arlington, it’s an easy walk over the Memorial Bridge to the Mall and the monuments.