This weekend two of my best friends came to visit me in Washington D.C. We had an amazing time and saw many historical places, like Ford’s Theater and Arlington Cemetery.
March 10, 2012: Ford’s Theater
While at Ford’s Theater, we decided to see a play there – a spur of the moment decision. It was amazing! We saw “1776.” It is a play about the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the start of the American Revolution. It was an amazing experience filled with history. We sat right across from where the 16th president of the U.S., Abraham Lincoln, was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.
Prior to the performance, those seeing the play were able to go to the museum and look around. I had been once before when I was in eighth grade, but I must say I cannot remember it. I think I was too young to truly understand the significance and appreciate where I was. However, this time around, I was able to completely appreciate the experience.
After the museum portion of the night, we walked up the stairs to the theater. On the way, there was a hallway. On one side was a timeline documenting what John Wilkes Booth did on April 14, 1865 and on the other side was a timeline documenting what Abraham Lincoln did that day. It was very interesting to see how their stories crossed and how they both ended up at Ford’s Theater that night.
When we got to the theater, all I could think about was how the theater was absolutely beautiful and a real classic. It had red carpet and cushioned seats.
The play itself was really well done. It was funny, amazing voices and a really great plot. The only negative thing was that I thought it was a little long (2 1/2 hours).
All in all, I would say it was a real experience seeing a play about the creation of the U.S. in a theater where my favorite president was shot. The historical significance to me was astounding.
March 11, 2012: Arlington Cemetery
As you probably know, Arlington Cemetery is dedicated to those who have served in the armed forces. It is a place meant to “pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.”
I have been here before (again in eighth grade) but I did not really appreciate it then. However, this time I did. There were so many headstones, and each one is commemorated, honored and remembered for the hard work and sacrifices they made during the many wars our nation has endured.
Arlington Cemetery was established during the Civil War by the Union. The Arlington House, which is the house on the top of the hill overlooking the cemetery, was once owned by the Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s wife, Mary Anne Lee, who was the great grand-daughter of Martha Washington. Washington’s husband was George Washington, first president of the U.S.
During the Civil War, the estate was occupied by the Union, but was returned to one of Robert E. Lee’s sons after the war ended. However, before returning the property, the Union decided to use the grounds as a cemetery for those who fought in the war. As a result, Robert E. Lee’s son decided he could not live there.
The rest of the cemetery was strangely beautiful. I say strangely beautiful because cemeteries are thought of as haunted, creepy and no one wants to go in them. However, this one is different. It was beautiful and serene.
The grave site of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is also on the cemetery’s grounds. It is marked by a flame and four plaques in front of it- one for JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and two for their children.