Arlington National Cemetery and Second chapter of Acts

Today was a spiritual day in many ways.  I wanted to take Mark to Arlington National Cemetery today while we finally had full sun and then Denise Fuller invited me to an Acts 2 event that friends of hers had invited her to.  Mark and I both had a sense of reverence all day.

We drove directly to Arlington National Cemetary this morning and caught a tour bus.

I really appreciated this sign in front of the visitor's center, especially the part that asked me to conduct myself with dignity and respect.  It made me want to rise to a higher standard.

I really appreciated this sign in front of the visitor’s center, especially the part that asked me to conduct myself with dignity and respect. It made me want to rise to a higher standard.

Mark and I only had time to get off at a couple stops.  The first we chose to get off at was the Kennedy's grave.  I again appreciated the sign.

Mark and I only had time to get off at a couple stops. The first we chose to get off at was the Kennedy’s grave. I again appreciated the sign — Silence and Respect.

The eternal flame with John F Kennedy's grave on the left and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis' grave on the right.  There were also a couple small graves for two children that had died in infancy.

The eternal flame with John F Kennedy’s grave on the left and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ grave on the right. There were also a couple small graves for two children that had died in infancy.

I had always heard the first few lines but don't remember hearing the next few: My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

I had always heard the first few lines but don’t remember hearing the next few: My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Gravestones as far as the eye can see.  They expect that by 2025 they won't be able to bury anyone else here because it will be full.

Gravestones as far as the eye can see. They expect that by 2025 they won’t be able to bury anyone else here because it will be full.

A beautiful ginko tree

A beautiful ginkgo tree

Robert E Lee originally owned this house and property, but when he went to fight on the Confederate side as a Virginian, the government seized his property for a cemetery.  After the Civil War, Lee sued to get his property back, and he won, but when he found out that it was a cemetery he sold it back to the government for a small profit.

Robert E Lee originally owned this house and property, but when he went to fight on the Confederate side as a Virginian, the government seized his property for a cemetery. After the Civil War, Lee sued to get his property back and he won, but when he found out that it was a cemetery he sold it back to the government for a small profit.

Arlington Memorial Amphitheater

Arlington Memorial Amphitheater

Inside the amphitheater

Inside the amphitheater

I like the quote in this half dome: When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.

I like the quote in this half dome: When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The guard would walk precisely 21 steps, click his heels, turn and stand for what I assume was 21 seconds, turn and tap his heels again, stand for another 21 seconds and then begin to walk 21 paces in the other direction.

The guard would walk precisely 21 steps, click his heels, turn and stand to face the same direction as the tomb for what I assume was 21 seconds, turn in the opposite direction on the mat and tap his heels again, stand for another 21 seconds and then begin to walk 21 paces in that direction.

At the striking of the clock on the hour, a sergeant walked up, and even though the guard's back was to him, when he got to a certain point the guard began walking again.  Their steps were in sync, and when the guard reached the end of his 21 steps, he and the sergeant stopped and turned and the sergeant was directly in front of the tomb and saluted it.

At the striking of the clock on the hour, a sergeant walked up, and even though the guard’s back was to him, when the sergeant got to a certain point the guard began walking again. Their steps were in sync, and when the guard reached the end of his 21 steps, he and the sergeant stopped and turned and the sergeant was directly in front of the tomb and saluted it.

A second guard arrived and the sergeant gave him a ceremonial and very thorough inspection.

A second guard arrived and the sergeant gave him and his weapon a ceremonial and very thorough inspection.

Then the sergeant escorted the new guard out.

Then the sergeant escorted the new guard out.

The first guard stepped off the mat facing the second guard while the sergeant stood on the mat.

The first guard stepped off the mat facing the second guard while the sergeant stood on the mat.

The two guards stood at attention while the sergeant saluted the tomb.

The two guards stood at attention while the sergeant saluted the tomb.

The new guard stepped onto the mat as the sergeant escorted them both to the far end.

The new guard stepped onto the mat as the sergeant escorted them both to the far end.

While he stayed at the end of the mat, the sergeant inspected the first guard.

While he stayed at the end of the mat, the sergeant inspected the first guard.

As the sergeant and the first guard were leaving, the new guard resumed guarding the tomb.

As the sergeant and the first guard were leaving, the new guard resumed guarding the tomb.

Waiting for our bus again outside the amphitheater

Waiting for our bus again outside the amphitheater

The tall gray structure is a carillon from Holland in thanks for freeing them during WWII.  It played out the hour during the changing of the guard.

The tall gray structure is a carillon from Holland in thanks for freeing them during WWII. It played out the hour during the changing of the guard.

We left there and went home briefly and then to Denise’s place.  She was already waiting for us in the parking lot.  She sent Mark up to her place where she had laid out dinner for him.  He stayed at her place to study while she and I went to a sort of re-enactment of the early church.  There were a number of people in the house, most of whom Denise didn’t know.  She had been invited by friends, and I was invited by her.  But everyone there was warm and inviting.

There was a meal prepared and we all ate.  Then lanterns and candles were put out and the lights were turned off.  The man who owned the house gave a devotion based on Hebrews 11, the faith chapter.  Then he recounted how on Pentecost, 120 men (and women and children) were gathered in one place and there was the sound of a rushing wind and tongues of fire appeared over everyone’s head.  They had a laptop and projector set up and we heard the sound of a rushing wind and then little flames appeared all over the ceiling.  After that, the words to a contemporary Christian song I’d never heard before were portrayed on the ceiling and we all sang.  After the devotional, the children were invited to go out and see the horses the family owned.  Some of us adults went out to see them as well.

As good as that was, the hour drive each way was even better because Denise and I got to talk about our life experiences and find even more we have in common.  It’s like God thought, “Hmm, this design is pretty good.  Maybe I’ll try another one before I break the mold!”

When we got back in the vicinity of Denise’s place, the road to her house was blocked by emergency vehicles.  We had to take a detour.  Lights were off all over the place, but when we got to her place, the lights in much of her home were working.  There were no lights in the bedroom and bathroom, but the area where Mark had been studying had lights.  There is something about Denise that attracts God’s blessing and protection.  She is aware of it and is constantly praising God.  She says she’s His favorite, and I absolutely believe that’s true!

1 thought on “Arlington National Cemetery and Second chapter of Acts

  1. Sister I am so very happy that Mark had the opportunity to visit the Arlington Cemetery. I know how much that means to him. And I think him so very much for his service. Sometimes in our busyness, we forget to thank those who give us a very freedoms that we enjoy and can often take for granted.
    I was overjoyed that we got stuck in traffic so that we could talk more and more and more and more. I love sharing stories, comparing our lives, and seeing how God had a planned all along. In our struggles, pain, uncertainties, and brokenness, He kept his word, and used it all for good. #Romabs 8:28!
    I love it when we got back to my place, the light was hovering over Mark. That’s God’s favor. It goes wherever I go. LOL
    You’re His favorite too! Yes you are precious one, yes you are! I can’t believe that tomorrow is goodbye. Don’t even want to think about it. Feel like a little kid getting ready to lose her best friend because she’s moving away.
    I love you!!! Yes, I do <3

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