Tag Archives: Arlington National Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice at Arlington National Cemetery

It’s often called the “Canadian Cross” but technically the large cross behind the Tomb of the Unknowns and near the memorials to astronauts is called the “Cross of Sacrifice.” The bronze sword atop the 24-foot gray granite cross was dedicated … Continue reading

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Unknowns of Arlington National Cemetery

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William Howard Taft – not just the other president

There are two presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Everyone knows John F. Kennedy, the eternal flame and all that. But who’s the second? Here’s a hint — he’s my seventh cousin, five times removed. What, you still need another … Continue reading

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The tree that ate a grave marker

In the far away section 13 of Arlington National Cemetery, Charles Ippel was buried shortly after his July 26, 1863 death. The Union corporal succumbed to wounds suffered three weeks earlier at Gettysburg as part of 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry’s … Continue reading

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Lee Marvin – The famous neighbor was a Hollywood legend

The eyes always go to the adjacent grave. Heavyweight champion Joe Louis. Big marker, big name, hard to miss. But to Louis’ left is a simple white stone marker containing another legend – actor Lee Marvin. Yes, it’s the famous … Continue reading

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The Hiker welcomes you to Arlington National

The memorials start long before entering the gates of Arlington National Cemetery. Just after leaving the Memorial Bridge is “The Hiker.” World War II soldiers were called G.I. Joes and World War I predecessors were Doughboys. The Spanish-American War fighters … Continue reading

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Charlie Wilson’s War

I recently watched “Charlie Wilson’s War,” a 2007 movie starring Tom Hanks on U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson’s support of Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s. The movie grossed $119 million worldwide, which is a pretty respectable number. … Continue reading

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Anton Hilberath: The German soldier in Arlington National Cemetery

  Anton Hilberath is an enigma surrounded by children. Hilberath’s the only German soldier from World War II buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The First Sergeant of the Wehrmacht was among 830 German prisoners of war that died in the … Continue reading

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Remembering the unknown dead of the War of 1812

So much attention is given the Tomb of the Unknowns, but there are actually more than 400 unknowns buried throughout Arlington National Cemetery. Fourteen soldiers and sailors from the War of 1812 are buried together in Section 1 not far … Continue reading

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Senator Cushman Kellogg was a renaissance man

In the very back corner of Arlington National Cemetery, and I’ll give you a special merit badge for finding this memorial under a tree by the superintendent’s residence, lies one of the special politicians of the post-Civil War era. Cushman … Continue reading

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Dulles . . . as in Dulles International Airport

Many Washingtonians fly in and out of Washington Dulles International Airport without knowing who Dulles was. Turns out he was one of us. A Washington native, John Foster Dulles rose to Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisnehower from … Continue reading

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Pan American 103 marker at Arlington National Cemetery

  With Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi killed, American will remember the tyrant for his backing of terrorists who blew up Pan American Flight 103 in 1988. A monument to the 270 killed from 22 countries, including 15 U.S. active duty … Continue reading

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Giant pile of rocks dwarfed by the man underneath

What rocks atop graves means is the runaway most read post on a daily basis in the near three years of my blog. Rocks are a Jewish tradition stemming from the Bible where Rebecca is buried along the road to … Continue reading

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Why are coins left on veterans’ graves?

Why are coins left on grave stones at Arlington National Cemetery? Particularly, the graves of Robert F. Kennedy and his brother Teddy plus World War II hero Audey Murphy. I thought it was something senseless the school kids did. Maybe … Continue reading

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The ‘Journalist’ of Arlington National Cemetery

Section 7A of Arlington National Cemetery is one of the smaller areas just below the Tomb of the Unknowns, but it certainly has a number of famous folks. Joe Louis, Pappy Boyington and Lee Marvin were buried just steps apart. … Continue reading

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A champion in the ring – Joe Louis

You’re busy trying to make the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns so you see an interesting grave but don’t stop. Well, stop on the way down the hill at Arlington National Cemetery because if nothing … Continue reading

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The ‘Price of Freedom’ is never cheap

It doesn’t take long to encounter the first example of Arlington National Cemetery’s reason for being. Steps from the visitors center’s west doors most people use to see the cemetery lies “The Price of Freedom” sculpture. The 12-foot, 1,800-pound bronze … Continue reading

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A stone of another color

It’s funny what grabs you while walking among the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. The large purple quartz marker that includes the plaque of James Fingal Gregory is one of a kind. At least, I’ve never seen one like it … Continue reading

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Full house at the Tomb of the Unknowns

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Remembering Audie Murphy at Arlington National Cemetery

(Reprinting one of our favorite columns) It’s amazing how yesterday’s heroes are today’s forgotten ones. It happens all the time in society. Singers and actors once all the rage now draw blank stares from teens. Sinatra – is that a … Continue reading

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