Arlington Cemetery is, I think, one of the most beautiful places in Washington. It is astounding by virtue of its sheer size. Acres of rolling hills covered in identical marble headstones, it is at once sobering and, in some odd way, inspiring. I feel no more patriotic anywhere in Washington than I do here.
But while the grounds are beautiful and awe-inspiring, what I love most about Arlington Cemetery are the engravings (my three favorites below). DC is a city of marble, and nowhere is that better used than here.
At the John F. Kennedy Gravesite: “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking for his blessing and his help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” -JFK
Robert Kennedy, 1966, South Africa: “It is from numberless acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripply of hope, and crossing each other from a million centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Aeschylus: “In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our despair against our will comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.