Freedom is not free. As my mom and I visited Arlington Memorial today, it became very evident how expensive freedom really is. You can’t put a price on an invaluable life, and so many of those lives have been lost in the name of freedom. Seeing the hundreds of thousands of graves was daunting. There’s nothing like seeing it in person; the history books, after all these years, just didn’t do it justice. It was especially moving to see John F. Kennedy’s grave and the eternal flame. To think that Jacqueline Kennedy lit that grave about 50 years ago is surely something to envision.
Watching the changing of the Guard was also a touching experience. We learned that they only have eight volunteer Guards; all of whom guard the tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours, all day, every day, rain or shine. It was such a ceremonial process and as we watched in silence, I realized the steadfast solemnness that such a service requires. I am so thankful that many men and women bear the duty of defending our country; they are some of the most courageous people that our country has.
The next part of our day was much sunnier. We took a tour of George Washington’s home (or mansion I should say), Mount Vernon. It was such a beautiful house and farm and my mom and I loved learning more about this amazing man who was so essential in our country’s founding. With a view of the Potomac River, the home was huge with 21 bedrooms. We also took a walk, actually more like a hike, around the grounds and we saw the slave quarters, Washington’s tomb, and the crops (Washington was a farmer). We also saw a lot of livestock; everything from sheep to pigs—I do love animals!
My mom and I love all the sight-seeing but we’re also taking time to just relax. It is spring break after all! We’re not quite sure what we’ll do tomorrow but possibly New York? Who knows where the day will take us!