Inspiring Arlington Memorials
Some of the United States’ most powerful memorials reside in Arlington, Virginia — just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Read on to learn more about Arlington’s memorials, established to honour the United States’ heroes as well as educate and inspire the living. The beautiful commemorative places are also located within close proximity to one another, making it easy to visit them all during one trip.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington Cemetery, the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members, veterans and their families, is a breath-taking 624-acre shrine to America’s veterans. Interspersed among the headstones of service members are memorials, monuments and trees commemorating individuals and notable events in US history.
Poignant experiences include the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the remains of unknown service members from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam are guarded 24 hours a day, and the eternal flame at President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite. Be sure to stop at the Welcome Center to pick up an Arlington Cemetery map and learn about the history of the hallowed grounds.
National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial
The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, one of three national memorials dedicated to the remembrance of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US, honours the 184 men, women and children who lost their lives when a hijacked commercial plane crashed into the Pentagon.
The 184 memorial units immortalize each victim and serve as a timeline of their ages, from 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg to 77-year-old John D. Yamnicky. The units are also arranged to distinguish those who lost their lives on board Flight 77 and those who were inside the Pentagon at the time of the attack. The distinctive memorial is place for solace and reflection and a reminder of the triumph of the human spirit in even the darkest times.
Air Force Memorial
Built to honour the men and women who served and continue to serve the United States Air Force and its heritage organizations, the memorial’s three soaring 270-foot spires reflect a bomb-burst manoeuvre and three of four planes forming a Missing Man formation. The structure also represents the Air Force’s core values: integrity first, service before self, and excellence.
Other significant points of interest at the site include the Glass Contemplation Wall, symbolizing the presence of those who are gone, and the Honor Guard, a sculpture of four individuals standing at attention. The memorial also offers spectacular views of the Pentagon and Washington, DC.
Shopping & Dining Near Arlington Memorials
While you’re in the area, take advantage of the shopping and dining opportunities throughout Arlington’s neighbourhoods. Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has more than 170 shops and diverse dining options, from Harry’s Smokehouse Burgers and BBQ to casual staples like Johnny Rockets and Au Bon Pain. Favourite stores include Macy’s, Nordstrom, Apple, Coach, Michael Kors, Sephora and Forever XXI. The Ritz-Carlton at Pentagon City offers a pampering place to stay on site. Find more places to shop >>