Arlington National Cemetery
During our trip to Washington DC, we planned to visit Arlington National Cemetery. In doing such, to our surprise, we obtained our first “Mid-Atlantic Region” stamps! Naturally, we had assumed that it would be considered part of the National Capital Region though it seems as if only those in DC proper qualify for the “red” stamp. So, we added two new regions to our National Park passport stamp collection.
Multiple stamps are available at or nearby Arlington National. Arlington, itself, reportedly has 25+ funerals every day, though this was not the case on Labor Day weekend. In addition to obtaining the stamps described below, we spent our time wandering the grounds. We visited the graves of JFK, Howard Taft, Lincoln’s wife and read the tombstones of just a few of the thousands of veterans laid to rest at the cemetery. We also witnessed the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and learned more about the history of this memorial.
Arlington House/Robert E. Lee Memorial
Did you know that Robert E. Lee was related to George Washington? I did not. When George Washington married Martha, she was a widow with a son and daughter. George and Martha not only raised those two children, but two of their grandchildren after their son (the children’s father) died. Their grandson/adopted son named George Washington Parke Custis had only one daughter who survived into adulthood. She married Robert E. Lee. So, although circumstances would have made them seem more closely related, I guess you’d stay Lee was Washington’s step-great grandson-in-law
George Washington Parke Custis became very attached to the first President during his childhood. He built the Arlington House as both a home and as a memorial to George Washington. The mansion sits high upon a hill in the present-day cemetery and overlooks the Capital. Robert E. Lee and Custis’ daughter would later marry in this house and reside in it for over 30 years. We stood in the spot where Robert E. Lee was married, peered in the rooms of his children, walked through their slave quarters, and looked into his bedroom where in 1861, he announced his resignation from the US/Union Army. Within weeks of his resignation, the Lee family would leave the Arlington House and the Union Army would move onto the Arlington grounds.
According to a park ranger, there was some controversy regarding the decision to dedicate the home as a memorial to Lee given that many viewed him as a traitor, but nonetheless the Arlington house was designated as a memorial by Congress in 1955.
National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/arho/
Civil War Defenses of Washington
This stamp was available at the Arlington House. Apparently, given that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will soon be upon us, the park ranger stated that many “new Civil War things are popping up.” I guess this may be one such example. As the ranger described it, the Arlington House qualifies for this stamp because the Union Army used it and the surrounding property to monitor for Confederate Army attacks/invasions given the House’s location that overlooks the Capital area.
National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/cwdw/
Women in Military Service for America Memorial
A relatively new exhibit, this memorial was opened in 1997 and is housed in a building of its own on the property of the Cemetery. It is dedicated to the over 2.5 million women who have served or currently serve with the US Armed Forces. A great deal of memorabilia, war artifacts, videos, and photographs are available for viewing.
Posted September 5th, 2010 at
9:16 PM by Janet in