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Arlington National Cemetery located in Arlington Virginia is home to the graves of over 275000 people It is the second-largest national cemetery in the country and it conducts an additional 5400 burials each year The numbers are somewhat overwhelming when one takes into consideration that almost every person buried in the cemetery was a member of the armed forces or closely related to someone in the armed forces The cemetery spans a total of about 1100 acres and includes numerous memorials plaques and tombstones in order to honor important people and events in our countrys history In 1802 George Washingtons adopted grandson George Custis wanted to build a mansion atop a hill in Arlington as a memorial for the countrys first president He hired George Hadfield an English architect who helped design the Capitol to complete this task After the house was completed and George Custis and his wife had died Robert E Lee married Mary Custis the familys only surviving child The couple inherited the home and lived there for 30 years until Lee left to defend the South in the Civil War Towards the end of the war the house was occupied by Union troops and its 1100 acres of land were confiscated and auctioned to General Montgomery C Meigs Soon after purchasing the land he appropriated the grounds for use as a military cemetery In 1864 Arlington National Cemetery was officially created from the estate One can still walk inside the Robert E Lee house today but it is just one of many memorials and commemorative monuments that exist in the cemetery In addition to the mansion the cemetery has a memorial of JFK JFKs burial took place on November 25 1963 and his grave has since become one of the most visited sites in Arlington Buried with him are two of his children who died in infancy as well as his wife The memorial consists of a plaque surrounded by stone
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