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Washington D.C. Day 5: Arlington National Cemetary and the Air and Space Museum

Updated on April 16, 2015

Thank Goodness for the Subway!

A
Arlington National Cemetary:
Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Center, 1 Memorial Avenue, Fort Myer, VA 22211, USA

get directions

B
Air and Space Museum Washington D.C.:
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, National Mall, 600 Independence Avenue Southwest, Washing

get directions

A Little Bit About Arlington

Okay... now I know some people see cemeteries as sad or scary places... but Arlington National Cemetary has a very interesting past and is a beautiful safe haven for families of persons serving in the military who have died in wars or after living long and happy lives.

Arlington is over 600 acres of land, that used to belong to the step-grandson of George Washington, and then was owned by his son-in-law Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee was the general of the Confederate Army in the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, Arlington was bought by the city and the government to be used for military burials. People who are buried here receive full military honors and services, and their family can be buried here too.

Some very famous people and ceremonies are held here every day, and you can also see monuments and memorials for different wars and events! I'll share some of the best with you!

A Few Pictures to Start...

The Monument Decidated to Women Serving in the Military
The Monument Decidated to Women Serving in the Military
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Wife of President John F. Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Wife of President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy Behind his stone is the eternal flame. It's never allowed to go out.
President John F. Kennedy Behind his stone is the eternal flame. It's never allowed to go out.
The view of the city of Washington D.C. from the hill. John F. Kennedy said it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen.
The view of the city of Washington D.C. from the hill. John F. Kennedy said it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen.
President Kennedy's Brother, Robert Kennedy was a senator.
President Kennedy's Brother, Robert Kennedy was a senator.
President Kennedy's Brother, Ted Kennedy was a senator in Massachusett's!
President Kennedy's Brother, Ted Kennedy was a senator in Massachusett's!
On the road in the back you can see a horse drawn carriage. Military burials at Arlington are always taken by horse drawn carriages like they were in the 1800's.
On the road in the back you can see a horse drawn carriage. Military burials at Arlington are always taken by horse drawn carriages like they were in the 1800's.
The view from Arlington House, the one that belonged to Robert E. Lee
The view from Arlington House, the one that belonged to Robert E. Lee
This monument is the tomb for unknown soldiers from the Civil War. People could not remember or tell who they were, so there were given a safe place here!
This monument is the tomb for unknown soldiers from the Civil War. People could not remember or tell who they were, so there were given a safe place here!
All of the markers have to be in perfect rows, from one end of Arlington to the other.
All of the markers have to be in perfect rows, from one end of Arlington to the other.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

One of the most famous ceremonies at Arlington Cemetary is for the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Every hour of every day, in the rain or snow or heat, soldiers volunteer and go through rigorous training to guard the tombs of soldiers in different wars that could not be identified (that means people did not know who they were). A good soldier never leaves a man behind, so these tombs are guarded every day, even in hurricanes or snow storms. Each guard must walk 21 paces from one end of the black mat to the other. When they turn, they always turn and keep their rifle between the crowd and the tomb, symbolizing that they are standing between the Tomb and any possible danger. They switch places every half hour during the day, and ever hour at night. We took some pictures of the area, and some really great videos of the changing of the guard to share with you when we get back. We also were lucky enough to see a wreath laying ceremony, where students from a local middle school came to lay a wreath down in memory and respect for those soldiers.

The large white block is the first tomb. The three white stones in the ground in front of it are other tombs that hold other soldiers from the Vietnam and Korean Wars as well as World War 2.
The large white block is the first tomb. The three white stones in the ground in front of it are other tombs that hold other soldiers from the Vietnam and Korean Wars as well as World War 2.
The soldier stands at attention, and waits to walk back across the mat.
The soldier stands at attention, and waits to walk back across the mat.
The Amphitheater Holds Almost 3,000 spectators and is used on military holidays like Memorial Day.
The Amphitheater Holds Almost 3,000 spectators and is used on military holidays like Memorial Day.

Other Important Facts

Some people think that just members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard or Airforce that were soldiers are buried at Arlington, but this is not true! Some of the other persons who deserve that respect were nurses who served in the military, astronauts, and doctors! Even a famous boxer is buried here! With so many interesting people to find, we tried to walk around the locate the persons with history or relatives you may know about or be interested in. The only person that we could not find was George Washington's grandson... Many of the trees along the driveway have been donated or given as gifts to the cemetary from other countries or organizations that felt like they wanted to give back to the soldiers that are always fighting for our freedom.

Some Other Interesting Facts and Historical Figures

People work hard to keep Arlington beautiful.
People work hard to keep Arlington beautiful.
Remembering some of our space shuttle crews.
Remembering some of our space shuttle crews.
The Mast of the USS Maine. This ship was sunk off the coast of Cuba over 100 years ago and started the Spanish-American War.
The Mast of the USS Maine. This ship was sunk off the coast of Cuba over 100 years ago and started the Spanish-American War.
Remember that flag from yesterday that I told you to remember? It would go on this statue! This is called Marine Corps Memorial, or Iwo Jima for the battle of Iwo Jima.
Remember that flag from yesterday that I told you to remember? It would go on this statue! This is called Marine Corps Memorial, or Iwo Jima for the battle of Iwo Jima.
President William Taft is also buried here. Only two United States Presidents have been buried at Arlington.
President William Taft is also buried here. Only two United States Presidents have been buried at Arlington.
President Abraham Lincoln's son Robert.
President Abraham Lincoln's son Robert.
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American justice of the Supreme Court.
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American justice of the Supreme Court.
A View of Arlington House
A View of Arlington House
General John J. Pershing, he holds a rank just under General George Washington, because nobody can be higher than the first President and General!
General John J. Pershing, he holds a rank just under General George Washington, because nobody can be higher than the first President and General!
Roger Chaffee is not related to us (we don't think) but he was an astronaut for NASA and died when something went wrong with their space mission.
Roger Chaffee is not related to us (we don't think) but he was an astronaut for NASA and died when something went wrong with their space mission.
Roger Chaffee and his crew mate Virgil Grissom.
Roger Chaffee and his crew mate Virgil Grissom.

The Air and Space Museum

We saw many planes the other day when we visited the Marine Corps. Museum, but this place had some new ones that we hadn't seen and then a lot of pieces from our travels into outer space! When we were walking around in this museum, it really felt like anything could be possible!

The "Air" Part of Air and Space Museum!

Some planes wings can even fold up so that they fit into different places... like the museum!
Some planes wings can even fold up so that they fit into different places... like the museum!
This video and replica shows you what it would be like to see a plane landing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, like the one below!
This video and replica shows you what it would be like to see a plane landing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, like the one below!
Aircraft Carriers are like runways on the ocean. They carry many jets and helicopters as well as their pilots!
Aircraft Carriers are like runways on the ocean. They carry many jets and helicopters as well as their pilots!
Even pilots have to get good grades! On this color chart, pilots get blue stickers if they made a good landing, yellow if they were just okay, and then red if they were told not to land and to try again!
Even pilots have to get good grades! On this color chart, pilots get blue stickers if they made a good landing, yellow if they were just okay, and then red if they were told not to land and to try again!
Pilots often chose nicknames for their planes and painted them on the sides. Can you read the nickname of this Mustang aircraft?
Pilots often chose nicknames for their planes and painted them on the sides. Can you read the nickname of this Mustang aircraft?
The many different pairs of wings that pilots can receive.
The many different pairs of wings that pilots can receive.
Pilots were also given guide books to help them talk to people in far away countries. They could find a phrase in English, and then point next to it to have someone else read it!
Pilots were also given guide books to help them talk to people in far away countries. They could find a phrase in English, and then point next to it to have someone else read it!
If a pilot had to make an emergency parachute landing in the water, their maps were printed on handkerchiefs. That way, the ink and paper wouldn't smudge!
If a pilot had to make an emergency parachute landing in the water, their maps were printed on handkerchiefs. That way, the ink and paper wouldn't smudge!
The inside of a cockpit of a typical airplane that you might use to go on vacation!
The inside of a cockpit of a typical airplane that you might use to go on vacation!
This is the nose of that plane that you just saw!
This is the nose of that plane that you just saw!

The First Flyers, Orville and Wilbur Wright

Orville and Wilbur Wright of North Carolina were always inventing and tinkering with things, even when they were boys! When they first got the idea to try flying in the early 1900s (over 100 years ago!) they began with little kites and gliders. Eventually, they were able to fly for short periods of time! The Air and Space Museum is home to the very first airplane driven by the Wright Brothers!

The Wright Brothers Creation

The Wright Brothers were known for making bicycles like this one before they did planes!
The Wright Brothers were known for making bicycles like this one before they did planes!
The First Wright Brother's Plane! This plane flew for just a few seconds in 1903, but it opened up the door of flight and air travel for the entire world!
The First Wright Brother's Plane! This plane flew for just a few seconds in 1903, but it opened up the door of flight and air travel for the entire world!
The pilot actually had to lay down on his belly in order to fly this plane! It doesn't look very comfortable...
The pilot actually had to lay down on his belly in order to fly this plane! It doesn't look very comfortable...
The small kite and glider that the Wright Brother's practiced making their designs with.
The small kite and glider that the Wright Brother's practiced making their designs with.
All of the wood on the plane is original (or real) but the cloth had to be refurbished (fixed) after a while because it was torn. This fabric was the original fabric!
All of the wood on the plane is original (or real) but the cloth had to be refurbished (fixed) after a while because it was torn. This fabric was the original fabric!
Orville and Wilbur used these stop watchers and clocks to time how long their planes would stay in the air!
Orville and Wilbur used these stop watchers and clocks to time how long their planes would stay in the air!
Bet you haven't seen a camera like this before! It took some of the first photos of the Wright Brothers in flight!
Bet you haven't seen a camera like this before! It took some of the first photos of the Wright Brothers in flight!
One of the first engines. It's only about the size of a computer!
One of the first engines. It's only about the size of a computer!

Other Famous Pilots

AuW, you once brought in a scrapbook with some information about Charles Lindbergh. He was one of the first pilots to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in a plane... by himself! He and his wife were sometimes a team that traveled together by air! Amelia Earhardt was another pilot, famous for being a female who attempted to fly across the globe on her own. Unfortunately, something happened to her plane, and they never found it... it remains a mystery to this day!

Charles Lindbergh's Plane
Charles Lindbergh's Plane
A Propellar from one of Amelia Earhardt's Planes
A Propellar from one of Amelia Earhardt's Planes
Amelia Earhardt's Plane
Amelia Earhardt's Plane

And Then Comes Outer Space

After mastering the art of flight, our next journey as a country was to travel out past the atmosphere and into outer space! It took many years of practice, and good and bad flights to make it there, but it gave us a whole new view on life outside of our planet Earth! We now know more about stars, moons and other planets!

Space Exploration: Humans Going to the Moon and Beyond!

A Lunar Module Model, These pieces land on the moon and then bring astronauts home.
A Lunar Module Model, These pieces land on the moon and then bring astronauts home.
They didn't have very big doors.
They didn't have very big doors.
Buzz Aldrin's space suit! Buzz Aldrin was one of the first people to walk on the moon! Neil Armstrong was another one, but his suit is off exhibit for cleaning...
Buzz Aldrin's space suit! Buzz Aldrin was one of the first people to walk on the moon! Neil Armstrong was another one, but his suit is off exhibit for cleaning...
The control panel inside of a lunar module.
The control panel inside of a lunar module.
The Fuel Cell that helps the Lunar Module lift off from the Moon!
The Fuel Cell that helps the Lunar Module lift off from the Moon!
A model of the Saturn 5, Apollo 11 Spacecraft.... the real one was much bigger!
A model of the Saturn 5, Apollo 11 Spacecraft.... the real one was much bigger!
ZP a few weeks ago you asked me how the spaceship gets off the ground.... Well.... it uses 5 of these rocket launcher engines!
ZP a few weeks ago you asked me how the spaceship gets off the ground.... Well.... it uses 5 of these rocket launcher engines!
Just so you can see how big one of them is, I made Mr. Chaffee stand in front of it. Now imagine 5 of those put together!
Just so you can see how big one of them is, I made Mr. Chaffee stand in front of it. Now imagine 5 of those put together!
A craft like this one helped Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon!
A craft like this one helped Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon!
The lunar modules aren't that big... and someone else asked me how they go to the bathroom in their space suits. The answer is easy... Space Toilets!
The lunar modules aren't that big... and someone else asked me how they go to the bathroom in their space suits. The answer is easy... Space Toilets!
This is a replica (a model) of the Hubble Space Telescope! This telescope was launched into space many years ago, and as it travels, it sends up back pictures of planets and stars!
This is a replica (a model) of the Hubble Space Telescope! This telescope was launched into space many years ago, and as it travels, it sends up back pictures of planets and stars!
This was the capsule the carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins back to Earth after visiting the moon!
This was the capsule the carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins back to Earth after visiting the moon!
It's a pretty tight squeeze...
It's a pretty tight squeeze...
Source
Even Hello Kitty likes to be an astronaut sometimes SS!
Even Hello Kitty likes to be an astronaut sometimes SS!

Some Information About the Planets

In our solar system, eight planets (and a dwarf planet) revolve around our Sun! They are Mercury, Venus, Earth (ours!!), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (the Dwarf Planet). Those are in order from closest to the Sun to the farthest away, so we are third in line! They aren't all the same size though, and none of them are identical! Mars is smaller than Earth, but we think that it might have had water on it at some point because there is ice at it's North and South Pole. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are known as "Gas Giants" because they are made of gasses in their air and we don't know if there is any land to stand on! Check out some of the cool information we found about the planets and stars! We also saw a Planetarium show about how stars are born, but they wouldn't let me take pictures or videos... Sorry guys! :(

Just a Short Collection...

This model is of a satellite that the United States sent wayyyyyyyy out into space to check out Pluto and to take some pictures! It will take a long time to get there!
This model is of a satellite that the United States sent wayyyyyyyy out into space to check out Pluto and to take some pictures! It will take a long time to get there!
These models show the difference in size of the planets. Saturn is the really big one with rings, and we are one of the smaller green and blue ones. Can you spot Earth?
These models show the difference in size of the planets. Saturn is the really big one with rings, and we are one of the smaller green and blue ones. Can you spot Earth?
A model of the Mars rover that is out exploring the "Red Planet"! It's called that because the dust and dirt is a really bright red color! This rover will collect rocks and dust to tell us more about Mars!
A model of the Mars rover that is out exploring the "Red Planet"! It's called that because the dust and dirt is a really bright red color! This rover will collect rocks and dust to tell us more about Mars!
Earth has a 24 hour day... from sun up to sun down. Mars is 24 hours and 39 minutes! When scientists are researchin Mars, they set their watches for 24 hours and 39 minutes instead of our usual time!
Earth has a 24 hour day... from sun up to sun down. Mars is 24 hours and 39 minutes! When scientists are researchin Mars, they set their watches for 24 hours and 39 minutes instead of our usual time!

Today's Conclusion and Tomorrow's Plan

This is just a small collection of the things that we saw and found at Arlington and the Air and Space Museum! We have some great videos to share about the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Arlington, and lots of maps and brochures from the things that we've seen!

Tomorrow, we will be driving out of Washington D.C. for a little bit to visit Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington!

We loved talking to you on video chat today, and can't wait to talk to you and see you again soon!! Stay tuned!! :)

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