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23 June 2011

Two visitors to Arlington National Cemetery were hospitalized Thursday for heat-related injuries.

The Arlington County Fire Department was dispatched shortly before 2 p.m. They evaluated six people at the Tomb of the Unknowns and transported two of them to a local hospital.

It's not uncommon for firefighters to be called to the cemetery several times a day during the summer, Lt. Gregg Karl said.

"When people come here from out of town, they aren't prepared for the heat and humidity we run into," Karl said. "They don't drink enough fluids, or eat enough to keep them going to the Tomb of the Unknowns."

Officials recommend visitors to the cemetery drink plenty of fluids before venturing out for the day -- and to drink enough to stay hydrated as the day progresses.

"They say if you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated," Karl said.

Lightweight and light-colored clothing is also recommended on hot days. Anyone allergic to bee stings should have medication with them.

The most common injuries at Arlington National Cemetery are heat-related at the Tomb of the Unknowns, sprained ankles on the steps to the Kennedy grave site, and bee stings around the gardens at Arlington House, Karl said.

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