Arlington National Cemetery will host a series of events in May and June 2014 to commemorate the traditions, sacrifice and history of what many consider to be this country's most hallowed ground.
The Arlington at 150 celebration commences with a wreath-laying ceremony on May 13, 2014, the 150th anniversary of the first interment at the cemetery. U.S. Army Pvt. William Christman was buried in Section 27 on that day in 1864.
It will conclude with another wreath-laying ceremony on June 15, the 150th anniversary of when the federal government established Arlington as a national cemetery, at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The cemetery, too, will hold lectures and tours that "highlight the history of the United States through the eyes of its heroes buried at Arlington and the military conflicts that shaped the cemetery and the nation," according to a news release.
The commemoration climaxes on June 13 with a free observance program featuring historical vignettes and musical performances, the release states.
“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,” Patrick K. Hallinan, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, said in a statement.
Arlington at 150 events:
- May 13: Wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Army Pvt. William Christman, the first military burial at Arlington.
- May 13: Arlington National Cemetery 150th anniversary book release reception at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial.
- May 19: Special guided tour: the American Civil War
- May 20: Special guided tour: Uncle Sam’s Little Wars
- May 21: Special guided tour: World War I: Bringing our Heroes Home
- May 22: Special guided tour: World War II: The Greatest Generation
- May 23: Special guided tour: U.S. Military and the Cold War
- May 30: Renaming ceremony for the Old Amphitheater, immediately following Decoration Day Observance hosted by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
- June 2: Special guided tour: The American Civil War
- June 3: Special guided tour: World War I: Bringing our Heroes Home
- June 4: Special guided tour: Late 20th Century to the Present
- June 5: Special guided tour: Monuments and Memorials
- June 6: Special guided tour: Medal of Honor
- June 13: Arlington at 150 observance program: A tribute to Arlington’s past, present and future.
- June 15: Wreath-laying Ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
For more information about Arlington at 150, visit www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Events/ANC150.aspx.