Arlington National Cemetery Sacred Resting Place
Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia USA
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for over 400,000 service members, veterans, and their families.
The land once belonged to Martha Washington’s grandson (George Washington Parke Custis), and George Washington’s adopted grandson. During the years, the land was occupied by military forces and in 1863, the Freed’s village was established to assist slaves through the transition to freedom. The Freed’s village provided housing, education, training, medical care and food for the former slaves.
With the increase of war casualties, the property was chosen as a burial site. The first military burial took place 13 May 1864, for Private William Christman.
Today, the cemetery is a national shrine to those who have served their country during times of war and times of peace. Over 3,000 funeral services are conducted each year including observance for Memorial And Veterans Days. More than three million people visit the cemetery annually.
President John F Kennedy
Former President John F Kennedy’s Burial Site at Arlington National Cemetery.
The bugle played at John F Kennedy’s funeral is on display in the Arlington visitors centre.
John F Kennedy the youngest elected president in history was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963 as he rode in an open motorcade. Kennedy who had served as a United States Naval Officer in the South Pacific during World War II returned from war and was elected to the United States House of Representatives and and later to the United States Senate from Massachusetts.
Kennedy was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on 24 November 1963 and his gravesite is one of the most visited plots in the cemetery. He was moved from the original gravesite to another site just a few feet away on 14 March 1967. His ex-wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was laid to rest next to him and their two deceased infants when she died of cancer in 1994.
The Unknown Soldier
On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheatre.
There were actually four unknown soldier candidates exhumed from four different WW1 cemeteries in France for the Arlington WW1 crypt.
WW1 Red Cross Poster
U.S. Army Sargent Edward Younger was given the ominous task to select a soldier for the Arlington National Cemetery unknown soldier burial site. Edward’s who was a wounded soldier, highly decorated for valour and a recipient of the ‘Distinguished Service’ in the Great War was presented by four identical caskets.
He chose the third casket from the left by placing a bunch of white roses on the casket. The chosen soldier was transported to the U.S. on the USS Olympia, and the other three soldiers were reburied at Meuse Argonne American Cemetery in France.
Medal Of Honour
The ‘Medal of Honour’ is the highest military honour; awarded for acts of valour above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of Congress. There are three versions: Army, Navy and Air Force. Marine Corp and Coast Guard recipients receive the Navy version of the Medal. The first Medals of Honour were awarded on 25 March 1863.
To date, over 3,400 Medals have been awarded with approximately 1,500 being awarded to Civil War service members.
There are over 400 Medal of Honour recipients interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Unknown Soldier lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda until Armistice Day, 1921. On 11 November 1921, President Warren G. Harding officiated the interment ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheatre, Arlington National Cemetery.
FACT: Nearly 5,000 unknown soldiers are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
HMAS Perth Memorial
Space Shuttle Challenger
The partial remains of the seven astronauts who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on 28 January 1986, are buried at the cemetery. The seven Columbia astronauts have their own memorial at Arlington, near the one for the Challenger. As a living tribute, there are 36 Memorial Trees for Medal of Honour recipients.