Arlington National Cemetery is a pet-friendly historic slice of history where you are welcome to bring your well-behaved, leashed dog. Arlington National Cemetery, located in the northern part of Virginia and bordering Washington D.C., is the final resting place of more than 300,000 people. Beginning with the American Revolution, veterans from each of our nation’s wars along with astronauts, sports figures and dignitaries are buried here. The tree-lined walkways and pristine grounds reflect a silent dignity while exploring, paying homage and saluting this sentimental landscape. Respectful and dignified behavior is expected at all times.
Situated on 612 acres, prior planning is suggested to map the graves of interest along with pit stops for rest, shade and where to immerse in the most picturesque vantage points. For those with smaller or elderly dogs, a pet stroller/buggy provides an ingenuous mode of transport as well as carrying water, supplies and Fido necessities.
Plot a hiking course with findagrave.com, which allows users to search by name, grave location at Arlington and level of fame. The cemetery’s hills are rolling and meander from one section to another, so be cognizant of the numbered sections throughout the hike. During our trek, we spotted a military funeral. From a distance, we stopped to pay respects as horses were used as part of the ceremonial burial. Arlington is the only United State military cemetery allowing this honor. Of special interest, the Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded 24 hours a day, year-round, by the elite 3rd US Infantry.
Notable graves we visited included U.S. President John F. Kennedy and wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; Robert F. Kennedy: Former U.S. Attorney General and United States Senator, William Rehnquist, Chief Justice; actor Lee Marvin; the Challenger Memorial; and Walter Reed, M.D. Of special interest is Arlington House, overlooking the cemetery with a breathtaking view of Washington D.C. on clear day. Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, offers a glimpse into the 19th century (sans Fido, as he waits with a family member outside).
Hiking Arlington National Cemetery with Fido provides an historic, reflective and hallowing journey into our nation’s rich history. Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public at 8 a.m., 365 days a year. From April 1 to Sept. 30 the cemetery closes at 7 p.m.; the other six months it closes at 5 p.m.
Official Website: arlingtoncemetery.org
Arlington House Tour: http://www.nps.gov/arho/index.htm