Arlington National Cemetery, a United States government burial ground in Virginia. It is located near the Potomac River directly across from Washington, D.C. Until 1967 this cemetery was available as a grave site for all servicemen and veterans. It is now reserved for recipients of certain medals, such as the Medal of Honor; disabled veterans; persons who died while on active duty; high government officials who were veterans; retired servicemen; and dependents of those buried in Arlington or eligible for burial there. The graves of Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Pierre L'Enfant, designer of Washington, D.C., are here.
The grounds were once owned by George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington, and later by his daughter Mary, wife of Robert E. Lee. The property, seized by the federal government in 1861 to be used as a Civil War camp, became a military cemetery in 1864.
The Arlington House, built by Custis in 1802, still stands on the grounds. It is a national memorial. Also on the grounds is an amphitheater used on ceremonial occasions. Near it is the Tomb of the Unknowns (also called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). Three unidentified servicemen—one from each World War and one from the Korean War—are buried here.
Other monuments in Arlington include a tomb containing the remains of 2,111 unknown Civil War dead, the Confederate Monument, the Maine Memorial, and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.