Quiet Memorial Day At Nation's First National Cemetery

Though it doesn't quite carry the popularity of Arlington, the country's first national cemetery draws a quiet, respectful crowd every year.

The U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery along Rock Creek Church Road dates back to 1861 and the American Civil War. More than 14,000 gravestones have been placed along 19 acres along upper North Capitol Street.

Takoma Park, Md. resident Yuri Zelinsky has been coming to the cemetery for years on Memorial Day to pay his respects.

"My wife and I felt it was important for [our grandchildren] to understand what it takes to preserve democracy and the tremendous sacrifices they made," Zelinsky said. "Often we come here on Memorial Day and we've been the only ones at this cemetery ... we're giving them the attention they deserve."

Curtis Harris, a Lincoln Cottage Tour Guide from Texas, said he fell in love with the cemetery.

"I like working around here with this kind of history, it really gets me going," he said.

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