Arlington & Mt Vernon - 06 JUN 2010

Took the metro to Arlington National Cemetery, figuring it would require less walking & money than driving and paying for parking...and I was right. President Kennedy's grave looked much different than when I first saw it a few years after he was killed.

Went over to the Tomb of the Unknowns, to see the changing of the guard. It was 10:30 in the morning and the sun and heat was intensely oppressive. See the green top container on the left side of the screen. Once the ceremony is over, the guard gets to stand out of the sun for the remainder of his half hour shift. It must be the longest shift of their lives as the heat is overpowering. They wear wool uniforms because it's the only fabric that will hold a perfect crease. You could see the sweat rolling down their faces.

Interesting fact: the tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from WWI, WWII, Korean Conflict and until 1998 the Vietnam War. After DNA testing was perfected, the Vietnam Vet was identified and returned to his family, making "Unknows" a thing of the past.
Notice the waistline? They wear a belt that is two sizes too small to enforce the correct posture.



After the changing of the guard there may be some additional ceremonies as different groups leave floral memorials. This is a high school group from Texas.
Here's my artistic views of the ceremony:



It took place behind this building:
This was in the display room in the back.Across the road is Audie Murphy's grave. He was the most decorated American veteran of WWII, and a celebrated movie star for many years, appearing in 44 films.Coin tossing is a cemetery habit?Tinky Winky is completing a salute, not waving.
It was a clear day with a good view of the city. Next I took a drive out to Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington.
This is the view from their back yard:This is the type of vehicle George used most often......but they also had an upscale model:This is his tomb:
It started to rain just as I was leaving...living in the desert state of California, I love and appreciate any type of rain. Found this whimsical nursery on the drive back to the hotel.