On June 15, 1864, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton officially designated the Arlington Mansion and 200 acres of ground as a military cemetery.
Since then, Casualties of War and honorary war veterans, explorers such as astronauts, historical figures such as Audie Murphy and Glenn Miller and minorities such as Black History and black Medal of Honor recipients were buried at this famous cemetery.
Also, buried here are Presidents of the United States such as John Howard Taft and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Chief Justices of the United States and Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court such as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.
Arlington National Cemetery also has one of the largest columbariums for cremated remains in the country. Currently in use are seven courts with more than 38,500 niches.
In awe I stood in front of the eternal flame of the Kennedy grave feeling blessed to have been a witness to this glorious tribute. Arlington is visited by more than four million tourists annually. Home to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which presents the changing of the guard ceremonies 365 days of the year. The striking discipline of the guards is so moving. There is an immediate hush among the onlookers as this presentation takes place and deep honor is thick in the air. The perfect steps performed with excellent posture causes a huge lump in my throat that will forever remain clear in my memory.
The natural beauty of Arlington is a bonus. To walk its grounds brings a somber satisfaction to the senses. No doubt, the good Lord lent his hand of artwork to show his approval of these sacred burial grounds.