Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial Day was made official by the order of General John A. Logan on May 3rd of that year. Memorial Day is on May 26th this year, as it is now observed on the 4th Monday of May. Folks at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort will be honoring Memorial Day with a dinner on Sunday,May 25th. There are many ceremonies in the area to say “Thank You” to our service members…Past and Present!
Arlington National Cemetery is the historic resting place for our Nation’s Fallen Heroes! It is in this hallowed ground that our nations veterans are laid to rest with dignity and honor. Both a National Treasure and revered cemetery, this 612 acres on the Potomac in Virgina offers an unrivaled view of the Capital in Washington DC. Four million people visit each year to bear witness to our American heritage and pay their respects to the war heroes of all of our Nation’s wars.
Honor the Tradition, Remember the Sacrifice, and Explore the History of our Nation. The Vision of Arlington: America’s premier military cemetery – A national shrine – A living history of freedom – Where dignity and honor rest in solemn repose.
Arlington is the only national cemetery to have servicemen and women from every war in U.S. history laid to rest there. In 1892, soldiers killed in the Revolutionary War were re-interred from Georgetown Cemetery, and casualties from the War of 1812 have been buried in Arlington, as well.
The first serviceman to be buried in Arlington was Army Pvt. William Christman, on May 13, 1864. The 67th Pennsylvania Infantry was Pvt. Christman’s unit. On May 13, 2014 a wreath was laid at his grave in section 27 of the cemetery with members of the Christman family there for the ceremony.
There was also a Lecture on the History of Arlington National Cemetery on May 13..In Commemoration of 150th Anniversary!
Arlington Cemetery hosted it’s first Memorial Day commemoration in 1868 with Gen. James Garfield as the featured speaker.
June 13, 2014: Arlington National Cemetery will host First Ever evening event in Memorial Amphitheater for 150th anniversary commemoration!
“Arlington at 150 Observance Program: A tribute to Arlington’s Past, Present, and Future” is an hour long live military show…Featuring:
Historical Vignettes that showcase how military conflicts have shaped our Nation and the cemetery.
Musical Performances By: “The President’s Own” , A US marine Band & a Joint Chorus made up with singers from the Army, Marine Corps., Navy & Air Force
A Wreath Ceremony
Show starts at 8:30pm , with Pre-Show at 8pm. & …Is FREE & Open to the Public!
June 16, 2014: Wreath Laying Ceremony at the memorial Amphitheater, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 9am (Free Attendance)
Arlington National Cemetery will host a series of events to commemorate this important milestone in Arlington’s History.
Complete List @ www.arlingtoncemetery.mil & click on Events.
Casualties of War & Honorary War Veterans
Exploration & Space ( Crew of Challenger)
U.S. Presidents & Families
Science & Engineering
U.S. Supreme Court
Prominent Women Figures
Many Other Prominent Figures
More information @ www.arlingtoncemetery.mil Click on History…Notable Graves of Arlington National Cemetery
The Arlington House is a 19th Century Mansion built by President George Washington’s adopted grandson, George Washington Parke Custis. He was the son of John Parke Custis who was himself the son of Martha Washington by her first marriage and a ward of George Washington. George Hadfield, an English architect who came to Washington to design the U.S. capitol, designed the estate. The Greek revival structure which Hadfield designed took Custis 16 years to complete on the land he had inherited when he was three years old.
George Washington Custis and his wife , Mary Lee Fitzhugh (Married in 1804), lived in the Arlington House the rest of their lives. They were buried together on their property.
Their only child, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married her childhood friend and distant cousin, Robert E. Lee. Lee was the son of former three-term Virginia Governor Henry (“Light Horse Harry”) Lee and was himself a graduate of West Point.
Under the terms of her father’s will, Mary Lee Custis Lee had the right to inhabit and control the house for the rest of her life. The full title would pass to her eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee. After his father-in-law died in 1857, Lee returned to Arlington to join his family and to serve as the executor of the estate. Robert E. Lee and his wife, Mary Anna, lived at Arlington House until 1861, when Virginia ratified an alliance with the Confederacy and seceded from the Union. Lee anticipated the loss of Arlington and continued to feel responsible for the estate and earnestly hoped that the slaves who were left behind would be educated and freed, according to the provisions of George Washington Park Curtis’ will.
- The property was confiscated by the federal government when property taxes against Arlington were not paid in person by Mrs. Lee.
- Property was offered for public sale on Jan. 11, 1864 and bought by a tax commissioner for “government use. for war, military, charitable and educational purposes”.
- Freedman’s Village
- The federal government dedicated a model community for freed slaves, Freedman’s Village, near the current Memorial Theater, on Dec. 4, 1863. More than 1.100 freed slaves were given land by the government, where they farmed and lived during and after the Civil War.
- War Secretary Edwin Stanton ordered the land turned into a military cemetery for the increasing number of dead soldiers.
- Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, who commanded the Garrison at Arlington House, appropriated the grounds on June 15, 1864, for use as a military cemetery.
- Neither Robert E. Lee or his wife, as title holder, ever attempted to publicly recover control of Arlington House.
- George Washington Custis Lee, eldest son of General and Mrs. Lee, claimed that the land had been illegally sold and in a U.S. Supreme Court 5 -4 Decision of December 1882, the property was returned to Custis Lee.
- On March 3, 1883, Congress purchased the the property from Lee for $150,000.
- It became a military reservation & Freedman’s Village ceased to exist; however, the grave sites that were once part of the village remained on the grounds of the reservation.
- The first grave at Arlington were dug by a former Arlington Estate slave, James Parks, the only person buried in Arlington National Cemetery that was born on the property.
- George Washington Parke Custis’ gravesite is at Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington House Story @ www.arlington cemetery.mil Click on History
U.S. Flags for Tombstones…Memorial Day Tradition
Since 1948, Troops in 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment plant U.S. Flags in front of every grave at Arlington Cemetery to Honor the Fallen!
Arlington national Cemetery is open to visitors 7 days a week.
8am – 7pm…April – September
8am – 5pm…October – March
Army National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia & Soldiers National Cemetery in Washington D.C. are under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of the Army.
We hold in our Hearts all who serve and have served our Nation in times of War and Peace. Let us Honor – Remember- Explore our History on this 150th Anniversary of the Arlington National Cemetery. God Bless!
Did you enjoy this article?
Get Free Updates