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Arlington National Cemetery

Photo by Jean Weller

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The history...

Arlington National Cemeterywas originally established during the American Civil War. It began as a Union Army burial ground on the estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who had fled during the conflict. The Union Army seized his estate and made it into a burial site, with the first military interment taking place in May 1864.

The cemetery's name, Arlington, comes from the former Lee family plantation, known as Arlington House. Following the Civil War, the U.S. government purchased the property to create a national cemetery as a final resting place for soldiers who died in battle. This act not only honored the sacrifice of Union soldiers but also symbolically reclaimed the land as a tribute to the Union cause.

Over time, Arlington National Cemetery has expanded to include over 600 acres and has become the final resting place for military personnel from all branches of the U.S. armed forces, as well as notable figures from American history. It serves as a solemn tribute to the men and women who have bravely served their country, with each gravestone bearing witness to their sacrifice and dedication.

One of the most iconic features of Arlington National Cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, dedicated to honoring unidentified soldiers who died in combat. The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by the elite soldiers of the United States Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment, known as the "Old Guard."

Today, Arlington National Cemetery stands as a hallowed ground and a symbol of national pride, where visitors come to pay their respects, reflect on the cost of freedom, and honor the memory of those who have served and sacrificed for the United States. Its serene landscape, marked by rows of white marble headstones and monuments, serves as an important reminder of the nation's commitment to honoring its heroes.

Source ChatGPT


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June 25, 1788 (10th state)