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Arlington National Cemetery

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  Across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia; closest Metro Arlington Cemetery. AprilSept daily 8am7pm; rest of year daily 8am5pm. 202/703/692-0931. Admission free.

  A poignant contrast to the grand monuments of the capital is provided by the vast sea of identical white headstones on the hillsides of Arlington National Cemetery. The country's most honoured final resting place was first used during the Civil War, when the grand mansion at the top of the hill, and all the surrounding land, belonged to Confederate leader Robert E Lee. Nearly 200,000 US war dead lie here, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier remembers thousands more whose bodies were never recovered or identified. An eternal flame marks the grave of President John F Kennedy, near his brother Robert and, as of 1994, next to his widow, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Among other well-known names is Pierre L'Enfant, whose grave site offers a superb view over the Mall and the District he designed; while the new Women in Military Service Memorial, by the main gate, is just one of several high-profile memorials to celebrated personnel, like the doomed crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

  Unless you have strong legs and lots of time, the best way to see the vast cemetery is by Tourmobile, which leaves from the visitor center at the entrance. You can also walk here from the Lincoln Memorial across the Arlington Bridge.
 

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