To experience Easter Sunrise Service at Arlington National Cemetery is to get a lesson in survival. One of my bucket list items I wanted to participate in was the Easter Sunrise Service that was held annually at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater. As I was visiting Washington DC with my niece, Kayla, I dragged her with me. We dressed up in our Easter finest and made it over to Arlington Cemetery by 5:00 am. I wanted to make sure that we had good seats and since I wasn’t sure what to expect we got there early. Of course not being a morning person I heard a lot of grumbling that someone (Kayla) could still be sleeping. Once the Arlington Cemetery was opened we hopped on the shuttle bus that dropped us off at the Memorial Amphitheater. We were one of the first group of people there so; we had our pick of the seats. As an outdoor amphitheater, I should have known that there were going to be stone seats. I was so focused on seeing the sunrise I didn’t think of it. And if you remember I mentioned that we dressed up in our finest. Since Easter fell in the middle of April, we thought it would be warmer but, not at 5 am in the morning. Wearing sundresses with coats do not help keep you warm when you are sitting on cold, very cold stone benches for over 2 hours. No matter how hard you try to pull your coat down further to be able to get another layer between you and the seat, the cold wind still blows all around your legs. Even though our butts were cold, we didn’t have to wait long to watch the brilliant color change of the sunrise. Take a look through one of the arches.
At 6:15 am, the United States Army Band began singing, and it was so beautiful. The whole time before and after the service, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky I was to experience this. The nondenominational service was well done with the Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben, deputy chief of Navy Chaplains, providing the sermon. It was nice to see a woman in a high position in the military.
What have I learned from this experience? I have learned that no matter what the temp is supposed to be during the day, it doesn’t apply before the sun gets up. Remember to bring blankets to sit on and wrap yourself up in if you are going to this service next year. Also, don’t forget gloves. I have also learned that when I travel with Kayla, I need to schedule activities later in the day because she is a worse morning person than me.
Easter Sunrise Service at Arlington National Cemetery bucket list item – check!!
Have you ever pushed through checking off one of your bucket list items even as it wasn’t going as well as you thought?