Arlington Cemetery Overview
Arlington Cemetery, located in Arlington County, Virginia, is the final resting place for many of the United States’ military veterans, including those who served in the American Civil War, both World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as other conflicts. It is also the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honors the unidentified remains of American soldiers who died in battle.
Visitors to Arlington Cemetery can pay their respects at the graves of famous figures such as President John F. Kennedy and his family, as well as participate in various ceremonies and events held at the site. With more than 400,000 graves, it is one of the largest military cemeteries in the world.
History of Arlington Cemetery
Originally established as a family burial ground by Confederate General Robert E. Lee in 1852, Arlington Cemetery was confiscated by the United States government during the Civil War and converted into a military cemetery. The first military burial took place there in 1864, and since then, Arlington Cemetery has become a national symbol of honor and sacrifice.
In addition to the graves of soldiers, Arlington Cemetery also contains several memorials and monuments, including the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the USS Maine Memorial, and the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, among others.
The Layout of Arlington Cemetery
Arlington Cemetery is situated on more than 600 acres of land adjacent to the Potomac River, just across from Washington, D.C. The cemetery’s layout is organized into several sections, each of which is dedicated to a different group of veterans or service members.
Visitors can navigate the cemetery via a network of roads and paths, including the main entrance road, Memorial Drive, which leads to the cemetery’s central plaza and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
How Large is Arlington Cemetery?
Arlington Cemetery covers more than 600 acres of land, making it one of the largest cemeteries in the world. However, it is important to understand the concept of acreage measurements to fully appreciate the cemetery’s size.
Understanding Acreage Measurements
An acre is a unit of land measurement that is equivalent to 43,560 square feet. To put this in perspective, an American football field is approximately 1.32 acres in size.
Understanding acreage measurements is important when considering the size of large plots of land, such as Arlington Cemetery.
Calculating the Total Land Area of Arlington Cemetery
To calculate the total land area of Arlington Cemetery, we can use the formula for the area of a rectangle: length x width. The cemetery’s dimensions are approximately 6240 feet by 4400 feet.
Multiplying these two numbers together, we get a total area of approximately 27,417,600 square feet. To convert this to acres, we divide by 43,560, giving us a total land area of approximately 624 acres.
Who Owns Arlington Cemetery?
Arlington Cemetery is owned and operated by the United States government, specifically the Department of the Army.
The cemetery is governed by a superintendent who oversees the maintenance of the grounds and the conduct of ceremonies and events held at the site.
What is the Purpose of Arlington Cemetery?
Arlington Cemetery serves as a final resting place for members of the United States military and their families, as well as a site of national remembrance and honor.
The cemetery also serves as a symbol of the sacrifices made by those who have served in the armed forces, and it is a place where visitors can pay their respects and reflect on the meaning of service and sacrifice.
Notable Graves at Arlington Cemetery
Arlington Cemetery is home to the graves of many notable figures from American history, including President John F. Kennedy and his family, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and General George C. Marshall, among others.
The cemetery also contains several monuments and memorials dedicated to various groups and individuals who have served in the military.
Arlington Cemetery: A National Symbol
Since its establishment as a military cemetery during the Civil War, Arlington Cemetery has become a national symbol of honor and sacrifice.
Its location just across from the nation’s capital serves as a reminder of the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in the armed forces, and the cemetery’s iconic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a powerful symbol of the sacrifices made by unknown soldiers throughout American history.
Conclusion: The Importance of Arlington Cemetery
Arlington Cemetery is a place of national remembrance and honor, where visitors can pay their respects to the men and women who have served in the United States military.
With its iconic landmarks and vast expanse of land, the cemetery serves as a tangible reminder of the sacrifices made by those who have defended our nation’s freedoms throughout history.
Further Reading: Additional Resources for Learning About Arlington Cemetery
- Arlington National Cemetery website:
- The National Park Service’s Arlington House website: https://www.nps.gov/arho/index.htm
- The American Battle Monuments Commission’s website: