I just returned from seeing the movie Jackie with a dear friend and fellow historian. We love going to see history movies together. I highly recommend taking the time to go see the movie if you have not done so already. As we watched the movie, we were both moved with the obvious emotions for the loss the country must have felt. I was also taken by feeling the power for the sense of place.
The premise of the movie is the week following the shooting in Dallas. Jackie has invited a journalist to Massachusetts to hear her recollection of events. Aside from scenes from the immediate days following the shooting, there are many scenes from the tour that Jackie hosted on TV of the White House, as well as musical events held in the White House.
Travel is very important to both my husband and I and I feel blessed that we have been able to see many historic sites with our family. Several years ago, we visited our son while he was living in DC for a residency. Arlington Cemetary had been on my list for several reasons, the least of which is its significance in honoring those that have given their lives for our country. When I learned more about the history of the Arlington House itself, it only added to my desire to visit. The visit did not disappoint.
Sense of place is very powerful. I have felt it as I stared at the Statue of Liberty for the first time, at the Gettysburg Battlefield and walking through the town of Concord, Massachusetts. All places have history, but some are more moving than others. I believe it is important to be in these places.
According to the Arlington National Cemetary, the President had visited the cemetary on several different occassions, two of which were on Armistice Day. On a separate visit to the Lee-Custis house, the President admired the view from the house believing he could stay there forever. Mrs. Kennedy's choice for the burial site was also contingent on her belief that "he belongs to the people."
If you have never been to Arlington National Cemetary, add it to your bucket list. I believe it is a place that all Americans should experience. Our history is important and experiencing it through a sense of place is invaluable.
wife, mom, teacher, author, history nerd and the lady that carries around a rabbit