81 Arlington National Cemetery Facts That You Need To Know | Kidadl


81 Arlington National Cemetery Facts That You Need To Know

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Since the 1860s, more than 4 million people from the United States who fought in the Civil War and 11 other nations have been buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Visitors to the capital region will find Arlington National Cemetery to be one of the most poignant and memorable sights. It is the ultimate resting place for thousands of American active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families.

George Washington's adopted grandson initially owned the Arlington estate. The land was passed down to his daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis, who married Robert E. Lee. During the Civil War, the Lees abandoned it and the Union forces utilized it as a headquarters.

The Department of the Army is in charge of Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery holds the graves of around 5000 unknown troops and army corps.

The cemetery has the second-largest number of persons buried of any U.S. national cemetery. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery is restricted to active, retired, and former members of the military forces, Medal of Honor recipients, high-ranking federal government employees, and their dependents.

Where is the Arlington National Cemetery?

United States national cemetery, the Arlington National Cemetery is situated in Arlington County, Virginia, right across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It is located on the antebellum plantation of George Washington Parke Custis.

  • More than 14,000 veterans, including those who participated in the Civil War, are buried among the cemetery's rolling hills.
  • The cemetery now has a total area of 639 ac (259 ha).
  • The park's centerpiece is Arlington House, a palace erected in 1802 in the Classical Revival style and modeled after the Theseum Temple in Athens, Greece.
  • The National Park Service runs the mansion, which is located on one of Washington's notable peaks and serves as Robert E. Lee memorial.
  • Armed forces swiftly captured the region, converting the Lee estate into a Union army headquarters and using the stables for cavalry battalions stationed in northern Virginia.
  • The army later planted graves as close to the estate as possible, even in Mrs. Lee's rose garden, in order to render the residence untenable and prevent the Lees from reclaiming control.
  • In the Washington, D.C. area, the Interstate 95, the Capital Beltway, the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway are all major routes that lead to Arlington.
  • The cemetery is also a stop on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metrorail and Metrobus systems, both of which are a short walk from the Arlington National Cemetery's gates.
  • Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs ordered the establishment of a national cemetery on 200 ac (80.9 ha) surrounding Arlington House on June 15, 1864, to house the bodies of all soldiers dying in Washington and Alexandria area hospitals.
  • The mansion has served as a plantation estate, a military headquarters, a colony for the emancipated enslaved, and a national cemetery over the years.
  • The historic residence is open to the public on a daily basis for tours.
  • Start with the Welcome Center, which provides an overview of the site once you've arrived.
  • You can also register for a bus tour of the cemetery, which stops at various locations throughout the grounds.
  • If you don't want to use the shuttle, then you have to do a lot of walking because the cemetery is built into a hill.

Purpose Of The Arlington national cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is home to a number of well-known historic sites, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honors unidentified fallen troops from the First and the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

  • Thousands of guests travel to the Memorial Amphitheater for events on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
  • The president or vice president of the United States frequently attends these special services.
  • Private William Christman was the first military burial at Arlington National Cemetery, which took place in 1864.
  • Instead of dates and phrases of endearment, most of their headstones simply say 'civilian' or 'citizen.' However, some gravestones carry brief biographical information.
  • There are several renowned persons buried there.
  • Boxer Joe Louis, a former Marine, Academy Award winner Lee Marvin, and the architect of Washington, D.C., Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who fled France to join the American Revolution, are among them.
  • Arlington holds up to 30 funerals per day but receives an additional 35 requests for services.
  • Funerals have significant wait times due to high demand, with average wait times of four months and highest waits of seven months.
  • The Arlington National Cemetery contains the graves of only two U.S. presidents. Regardless of military service, all presidents are eligible for interment at Arlington.
  • The two presidents who are buried are William Taft and John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy is buried beside his widow, Jackie, and brothers Robert and Ted.
  • The assassination of President John F. Kennedy, at the age of 46, shocked the country.
  • The gravestone of John F. Kennedy, which has a view of Washington, D.C., has inscribed words from some of his speeches that help to bring the memorial to life.
  • Half-staff flags are flown from a half-hour before the first funeral until a half-hour after the last funeral each service in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • In Arlington National Cemetery, there are only two flagpoles.
  • The Woodhull flagpole, which stands near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, rises 90 ft (27 m) over the Memorial Amphitheater's south grass, while the other sits in front of Arlington House.
  • Individuals can have a flag flown above the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier if they so desire.
  • General George C. Marshall, an American leader and soldier during and after the Second World War, and Pierre L'Enfant, a French-American military engineer who designed Washington, D.C.'s urban layout, are both buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Check out these facts about Arlington military cemetery memorial.

History Of Arlington National Cemetery

In 1863, the Lee family constructed Freedman's Village on their land to help formerly enslaved transition to freedom. The community's housing, schools, and healthcare made it particularly enticing to abolitionists who had previously connected the land with Confederate General Lee.

  • On May 13, 1864, the burial ground was created on land taken from Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
  • The Arlington National cemetery grounds were previously owned by George Washington's grandson.
  • The land was formerly owned by George Washington Parke Custis.
  • In 1882, the United States Supreme Court determined that the federal government had seized the land unjustly.
  • Custis Lee regained the title in a judgment by the United States Supreme Court in December 1882.
  • However, in 1883, he sold the property back to the government so that the nation's deceased troops may be remembered with a hallowed resting place.
  • In 1892, cemetery officials unearthed and reburied troops from other graves who had served during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
  • At the time of the transaction, about 6000 Union troops were buried.
  • The court could have sanctioned the government to dig up the graves and relocate them if Custis Lee hadn't sold the land back to the government.
  • Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs formally recommended Arlington as the site of a new military cemetery due to a shortage of burial grounds in Washington, D.C.
  • In 1864, at Arlington Estate, the first military burial takes place. The 67th Pennsylvania Infantry's Pvt. William H. Christman is laid to rest.
  • The Tomb of the Unknowns was erected in 1921 for an unknown First World War soldier.
  • The soldiers from the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War who are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are unknown.
  • One of the men buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was recognized 14 years after his burial.
  • The words 'Here lays in glorious glory an American soldier known only to God' are engraved on the Tomb.
  • The lovely cherry blossom trees that bloom in the cemetery each spring are thanks to First Lady Helen Taft, President Taft's wife.
  • Mrs. Taft received a letter from a member of the National Geographic Society outlining a plan to place Japanese cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin.
  • A succession of mismanagement scandals erupted as a result of an internal report.
  • A 2010 Army assessment indicated that cemetery officials tossed away souvenirs left at tombs, put headstones on the wrong burial locations, buried coffins in shallow graves, and stacked remains on top of each other as a result of Gray's allegations.

How many graves are there at Arlington National Cemetery?

The cemetery has roughly 400,000 graves of veterans and their eligible dependents. All of the tombs in the Arlington National Cemetery have a number of key facts and figures.

  • The Arlington National Cemetery is 639 ac (259 ha) in size and sits across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
  • There are 32 Commonwealth burials of British Commonwealth war deceased, 11 from the First World War, and 19 from the Second World War, including several Commonwealth War Graves Commission-style headstones.
  • The cemetery is divided into 70 divisions, with certain areas in the southeast and west set aside for future expansion.
  • Section 60, at the cemetery's southeast corner, is dedicated to military personnel killed in the 'war on terror' since 2001.
  • Section 21, popularly known as the Nurses Section, is the location of the Spanish–American War Nurses Memorial and the Nurses Memorial, as well as the burial site for numerous nurses.
  • On Chaplains Hill, there are memorials to Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic military chaplains.
  • One of the country's oldest national cemeteries is the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery.
  • If you cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge from Washington, D.C. into Arlington on a clear night, you can see a flickering flame atop the hill in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • On the day of President John F. Kennedy's funeral, November 25, 1963, Mrs. Kennedy kindled the eternal flame, which continues to burn from the granite stone at the head of the president's grave.
  • If the flame goes out due to rain, wind, or accidents, a constantly flashing electric spark in the nozzle and an electronic ignition mechanism relights the natural gas.
  • The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded by the best and most qualified members of the third U.S. Infantry Regiment, popularly known as The Old Guard, who are on duty 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
  • The Old Guard is the Army's oldest active-duty infantry unit, having been formed in 1784.
  • Even if it is a terrible weather condition, the Old guard stays outside no matter what.
  • Arlington has launched ANC Explorer, free mobile and web-based application.
  • Users can use the tool to find any grave in the cemetery and browse in-ground burial records as well as photos of headstones and memorials from both sides.
  • The app also includes information on how to get to each location.
  • Every tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery has been photographed and documented, and the cemetery's web-based program can be used to locate them.
  • The Arlington National Cemetery is being considered for expansion. The cemetery has to remove around 800 trees and replace them with 600 new ones.
  • The initiative will protect the oldest trees of Arlington woods, which date back over two centuries according to an Army Corps of Engineers report.
  • There are now 63 recognized faith emblems for usage on gravestones to represent the deceased's religion, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • As a result of judicial challenges to policy, this number has risen over time.
  • Privately paid stones were allowed in the Arlington cemetery from 1947 and 2001.
  • The burial space of the cemetery that allowed such markers are practically full and new burials are normally not authorized in these areas.

Did You Know...

Over 700,000 memorial wreaths were placed by volunteers in 2014 at 1000 locations across the United States and abroad, including the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site in New York City.

  • Volunteers were able to place wreaths in every section of the cemetery for the first time that year.
  • Over 1.2 million wreaths were placed in over 1230 cemeteries across the United States in 2016.
  • The Arlington cemetery commemorated the 150th anniversary of its founding with a month-long series of events, tours, and talks in May and June 2014.
  • During the festivities, the Old Amphitheater was formally renamed the James Tanner Amphitheater by Arlington cemetery officials.
Written By
Megha Sarkar

<p>Megha, currently studying fashion technology at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, brings a unique blend of passion and dedication to the table. Beyond her academic pursuits, Megha engages in dance and photography as her hobbies, both of which fuel her creativity. As an active member of her college's dance society and photography club, she continually hones her artistic abilities while also contributing to her college community.</p>

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