“Arlington at 150”: Events designed to commemorate Arlington National Cemetery’s 150th anniversary

Arlington National Cemetery will host a series of events from May through June 2014 to honor the traditions, remember the sacrifice and explore the history of the cemetery as it commemorates 150 years as a national cemetery. Arlington became a national cemetery on June 15, 1864.

 

The commemoration begins with a wreath laying ceremony May 13 at the gravesite of Army Pvt. William Christman, the first military burial at Arlington, and concludes with a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on June 16, the day after Arlington officially became a national cemetery. The cemetery will also host lectures and tours that highlight the history of the United States through the eyes of the heroes buried at Arlington and the military conflicts that shaped the cemetery and the nation.

 

“Arlington National Cemetery is America’s premier military cemetery and a sacred treasure in our nation’s history. We are pleased to host a series of events to mark this special occasion,” said Patrick K. Hallinan, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries.

150 Logo, smaller

 

“Arlington at 150” events:

 

May 13, 2014: Wreath Laying Ceremony at the grave of Pvt. William Christman, the first military burial at Arlington. Free. The event starts at 9 a.m. in Section 27, by the Ord and Weitzel Gate.

 

May 13, 2014: Lecture: “The History of Arlington National Cemetery” at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial. Free. The event starts at 10:30 a.m.

 

May 30, 2014: Renaming Ceremony for the Old Amphitheater and Decoration Day Observance co-hosted by Arlington National Cemetery and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Free. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the Arlington National Cemetery Old Amphitheater.

 

June 13, 2014: “Arlington at 150 Observance Program: A tribute to Arlington’s Past, Present and Future,” which will feature historical vignettes and musical performances at the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater. Free. The pre-show starts at 8 p.m. The shuttles to the Memorial Amphitheater begin running at 7 p.m.

 

June 16, 2014: Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Free. The event starts at 9 a.m.

 

Details about ANC 150 events are available at: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Events/ANC150.aspx

 

Special Guided Tours: Arlington at 150: Honor the Tradition, Remember the Sacrifice, Explore the History

 

As part of Arlington National Cemetery 150th anniversary commemoration, Arlington has partnered with ANC Tours by Martz Gray Line to provide a series of narrated tours that explore Arlington’s rich history. Tours are $9 per person and include transportation around the cemetery, a speaker and a narrator from the Arlington National Cemetery History Office.

 

ANC Tours by Martz operates the only authorized riding interpretive tour of Arlington National Cemetery. Tickets for “Arlington at 150” tours are available for purchase online through: http://www.anctours.com/Arlingtonat150.php, or by phone at (202) 488-1012

 

Arlington at 150 Special Guided Tours

 

The American Civil War

Date: May 19, 2014 and June 2, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

The American Civil War (1861-1865), also known as “The War Between the States,” pitted neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother. By the time it ended in Confederate surrender in 1865, the Civil War proved to be the costliest war ever fought on American soil. Arlington National Cemetery was created to bury the war dead. This tour explores how the Arlington Estate came to be Arlington National Cemetery and historical figures from this conflict.

 

Uncle Sam’s Little Wars

Date: May 20, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

The War of 1812, various Indians campaigns, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, as well as interventions in the early 20th century are collectively referred to as “Uncle Sam’s Little Wars.” Arlington National Cemetery was greatly impacted by “Uncle Sam’s Little Wars.” The first repatriations came from causalities of the Spanish-American War. Stops will include the War of 1812 Unknowns, sections 3, 21, 22, 24, along with a visit to the Mast of the USS Maine.

 

World War I: Bringing our Heroes Home

Date: May 21, 2014 and June 3, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

As the First World War had a tremendous impact on the United States, it also had a lasting effect on Arlington National Cemetery. Most importantly, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was created, similar to other burials of the unknown dead in Europe after World War I. Stops will include sections 18, 19, the Argonne Cross, section 34, and finish with a tour of the Memorial Amphitheater and watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

World War II: The Greatest Generation

Date: May 22, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

The Second World War was the first war fought globally. More than 11 million Americans, referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” fought the Axis aggression on two fronts in Europe and the Pacific.  The war continues to have great impact on Arlington National Cemetery as the generation that fought in this war ages, and joins the ranks of those who fought the wars before them. In 1958, the remains of a World War II unknown was added to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tour will include stops in sections 7, 7A, the Battle of the Bulge Memorial (section 21), 35, 36 and 46.

 

U.S. Military and the Cold War

Date: May 23, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

The Cold War is a term used to describe the conflict between the United States and communist expansion fought on many fronts all over the world, both in open and secret warfare, over a 45 year period after World War II.  The first open conflict of the Cold War was fought on the Korean Peninsula from June 1950 through July 1953.  Less than 10 years later, the United States would find itself involved in a 10 year conflict in Vietnam.  The Cold War would end in the late 1980s not with gun fire, but cheers, as the people of East Berlin tore down the wall that divided the city which was the greatest symbol of the Cold War itself.

 

Late 20th Century to the Present

Date: June 4, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

With the end of the Cold War and the world’s dependency on oil, a new enemy raised its head in extremism.  From the bombing of the Beirut barracks in Lebanon in 1983, to the battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, to the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the Global War on Terror, the war on extremism is one of terror and intimate battles. The greatest impact to Arlington National Cemetery can be seen in section 60, sometimes referred to as the saddest acre in America.

 

Monuments and Memorials

Date: June 5, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

The history of the United States can be seen every day walking through Arlington National Cemetery. At Arlington, America’s heroes from every conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the conflicts of the 21st century, are buried within its hallowed grounds. This tour explores notable graves and memorials that illustrate America’s rich history.

 

Medal of Honor

Date: June 6, 2014

Time: 2 to 5 p.m.

Start Location: Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Description:

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. There are approximately 407 Medal of Honor recipients buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This tour will cover the story of American conflicts through the valor of Medal of Honor recipients.

 

[This Army Live blog post was provided by Jennifer Lynch, Arlington National Cemetery Public Affairs Office]