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Here Rests in Honored Glory: Arlington Cemetery

It was a gloomy Saturday morning, raining steadily on the thousands of graves that spread out seemingly endlessly over the hills of Arlington National Cemetary. Other visitors, like me, had traveled by Metro to explore and pay their respects despite the bad weather, and as the rain fell we silently recognized the lives of the many soldiers who lay just beneath us. As I meandered through the pathways, the quiet, peaceful atmosphere gave me the space to honor the lives of those who defended my country.

Of the many solemn sights that I pondered throughout my trip, it was terribly difficult for me to walk away from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Perhaps what stopped me in my tracks was the silence, or the white marble, or the stern, solitary guard walking silently back and forth before the tomb.

“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” Those sobering words are etched into the tomb, where, if I’d had the time, I would have stood and watched the guards pace all night long with unmitigated admiration.

Time passed quickly, and as I reentered the Metro station to head back to campus, I promised myself that I would pay another visit later this fall. Arlington Cemetery was certainly near the top of my list of places to visit upon my arrival to the DC area, but the majesty of this cemetery is unlike anything I expected. It is a sight to humble every American.

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