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10 U.S Memorial Day Facts you might not know

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This is from War History OnLine.

For Gold Star families every day is Memorial Day.

I am a Gold Star family member.

IMG_8448-640x480

The Memorial Day in United States commemorates all those men and women who lost their lives while protecting the nation. Following are some important facts about the American Memorial Day.

  1. Since its very humble beginning on May 5, 1866, the Memorial Day was celebrated on 30th May every year. However in 1971 US congress established a new date for the day, and announced the last Monday of May as official Memorial Day.
  2. Initially the memorial day only commemorated U.S. personnel died during a deadly civil war from 1861 to 1865, but later it took under its wing all those who died for the country.
  3. A total of 620,000 Americans perished in the civil war, while 644,000 Americans lost their lives in all the other conflicts since then. American Civil War is still the single most deadly conflict of the American history.
  4. The ‘national moment of remembrance’ was set at 3 pm on Memorial Day. This was made possible by ‘the national moment of remembrance act’ in 2000 signed by President Clinton on Dec. 28.
  5. The Memorial Day had varying standings in past, one of which was a different name for the day. It used to be called the Democratic day. It was believed that soldiers died upholding the democratic values of the young nation.
  6. Red poppies have always been associated with the remembrance of the dead soldiers. People wear poppies to pay respect and tribute to those who made sacrifices for the nation.
  7. The most interesting fact about the memorial day is that although Federation celebrates the memorial day along with most of states remembering the union soldiers, however many states still celebrate the memorial days for confederate dead soldiers.
  8. About 5,000 people attended the first ever Memorial Day ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.
  9. Most of the deaths that took place during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 were as a result of a small pox outbreak. The total number of deaths is estimated to be around 620,000 – 365,000 Union while 260,000 confederate soldiers.
  10. Following is the estimate of the total number of American causalities since the Civil War.
  • In the Civil War 620,000 Americans died
  • WWI, 116,516 U.S soldiers died
  • In the Second World War 405,399 Americans died
  • Korean War killed 36,574 Americans.
  • 58,220 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam War
  • In Operation Desert Storm a total of 148 Americans died in the battlefield while another 145 died elsewhere during the operation.
  • 4,422 Americans died in the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • In Operation New Dawn 66 U.S Army personnel were killed
  • 2,318 Americans perished in the Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

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A young soldier from a war long past, finally laid to rest

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This is from The Washington Post.

R. I. P.  Army Cpl. David J. Wishon Jr Welcome Home.

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Callahan McCann presents a flag to Celia Gray during burial services for her brother, Korean War soldier U.S. Army Cpl. David J. Wishon, Jr. of Baltimore on Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. (Alex Brandon/AP)

 

   The heartbreaking orderliness of Arlington National Cemetery’s endless rows of headstones was interrupted Friday with a new grave, for a long-lost soldier killed 65 years ago in bloody and frozen combat overseas.

Army Cpl. David J. Wishon Jr. of Baltimore was laid to rest with full military honors in Section 60, joining more than 800 soldiers, sailors and Marines who have died in this century’s wars.

Wishon was just 18 years old during the harrowing, multi-day battle at Chosin Reservoir in Korea in late November and early December 1950. He had been in the Army for 14 months, a combat medic assigned to the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

It was a cobbled-together force, historians say, joining other units that were trying to push the North Koreans toward the Yalu River.

When Chinese troops swept down from Manchuria, the regiment was surrounded, caught on the east side of the frozen reservoir, while Marines fought on the west side. Snow was falling, and the temperature plunged to 35 degrees below zero.

Army Cpl. David J. Wishon Jr., 18. On Dec. 1, 1950, Wishon, assigned to Medical Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was declared missing in action after his unit was heavily attacked by enemy forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

An estimated 1,500 U.S. servicemen were killed or injured at the Chosin Reservoir out of a force of about 2,500, said Matthew J. Seelinger, chief historian of the Army History Museum.

The medical unit to which Wishon belonged was wiped out.

Wishon was classified as missing on Dec. 1, 1950. Three years later, lacking any further information about him, a military review board declared Wishon dead. But the nation had not forgotten him.

In the early 1990s, North Korea returned 208 boxes of “commingled” human remains to the United States. A separate joint U.S.-North Korea recovery effort added more remains. From that material, at least 600 American servicemen have been identified.

Wishon’s identify was confirmed by circumstantial evidence and two forms of DNA analysis, which matched mitochondrial DNA from two of his sisters, said Air Force Lt. Col. Holly Slaughter of the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Family members did not return requests for comment.

More than 7,800 U.S. Korean War veterans remain unaccounted for. A joint North Korean-U.S. team recovered additional human remains from a reported burial site in Kujang, North Korea, in October 2000, and efforts to identify missing veterans continue.

So much time has passed that sorting through all the bone chips and other evidence is “like a puzzle without a picture,” Slaughter said.

On Friday, six horses, three of them riderless, pulled a caisson carrying Wishon’s casket, which was covered in the American flag and wrapped in plastic as protection from a cold and steady rain.

The Army’s Old Guard fired a three-shot rifle volley to honor Wishon. A highly practiced military band and bugler played “America the Beautiful” and “Taps” as about a dozen of Wishon’s relatives looked on, including his sister, Celia Gray, of Essex Md.

A collection of tourists watched from a distance as a military chaplain offered prayers, the acting superintendent of the cemetery paid her respects and a defense attache from the South Korean Army thanked the family members who had gathered to mourn.

Wishon’s was one of 28 funerals at the cemetery on Friday.

Heart Warming: WWII Coastguard Vets’ Unclaimed Body Buried By His Neighbors

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This is from War History OnLine.

This is a very heartwarming story.

 

Friday 8th April 2016 was a cool day at Arlington National Cemetery, with a brisk breeze blowing across the white headstones. A Coast Guard Honour Guard stood ready and a small box draped with the Stars and Stripes was reverently buried within the hallowed bounds of the cemetery. The bugler played taps, three rounds were fired and the Honour Guard carefully folded the flag and handed it to Bill Sheppard along with a soft, felt bag containing the 21 shells fired in Andrew Moore’s honour.

 So, who was Andrew Moore? Was he a well-known soldier, a hero of one of America’s wars? Well, he was a soldier, but he was not famous nor was he a hero he was just a man who was raised as an orphan, fought for his country, remained a bachelor all his life and had no close friends left when he passed away. He died aged 89, leaving no will and having no next-of-kin. In theory, he should have been buried in a pauper’s grave in the District of Columbia, but that did not happen.

So how did he come to be inurned at Arlington? This happened because of the efforts of the only family that Andrew Moore had; one that he probably did not recognise as family, but by the definition of caring for one another, they were his family. These people were the other residents of the eight-story, 308 unit, apartment block in which he lived; State House bordering Embassy Row in Washington. This apartment block has all the hallmarks of a village, in that they cared for each.

 

Andrew Moore was a well-known sight as he sat on the front steps and smoked a quiet cigarette. He was a Redskins fan and always wore his Redskins red and burgundy cap. He loved football and would chat to anyone about the game and his beloved team, often delaying the mail man for some time.

He was also well-known for bringing treats, such as Hershey’s Kisses or cookies from McDonalds, to the staff when he went out. Damian Greenleaf, the building’s engineer, remembers, “I offered to replace his AC unit once, and he said not to bother, I prefer the breeze.” He was not an extroverted man but he was one of the villagers and they were determined to see that he had a fitting burial and would not be consigned to the local potter’s field.

Bill Sheppard and Nick Addams, both residents in the apartment block, are the type of person that makes a point of breaking through the urban invisibility that seems to surround so many city dwellers. Both of these sociable men would chat with anyone they met around the building and thus knew Moore and it was these two men that took on the task of ensuring that Moore received a fitting funeral.

By chatting with Moore they built up the story of his life; how he had joined the Navy and served in the Philippines, and then worked for some years with the Coast Guard before staying on dry land and working in a federal warehouse and for an insurance company.

When he died, Sheppard and Addams knew something of Moore’s history but there were large gaps in their knowledge. They remembered Moore telling them that his mother was a Native American who was unable to care for her son, so she gave him up at an orphanage in Omaha. Moore told his friends that the nuns and priests at this Catholic orphanage taught him the discipline that served him well all his life.

In recent years, Moore’s health deteriorated and his mental faculties started to fail. He became confused about people and took to calling Nick Adams, ‘Calvin’. With a gentle smile, Addams said, “I just answered to it.

In 2014, Moore suffered a fall and was taken to a rehabilitation hospital where a court-appointed guardian was assigned to him.

Charles Fitzpatrick, Moore’s guardian, wanted him moved to a nursing home because Moore was incapable of walking without the assistance of a walker, but Moore was adamant that he return to his beloved State House apartment. “Mr. Moore was a very strong-willed character, and he was having none of it. I was dubious, but I really admired the fact that he was able to do what he wanted to do.” said Fitzpatrick.

In December Sheppard saw an ambulance outside State House and he immediately thought of Moore. The desk clerk told him that Moore had been taken to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital where he died a few days later from heart failure. Sheppard and Addams were speaking about Moore and commiserating with each other over his death. Knowing he had no family they were concerned over his funeral arrangements.

Addams had taken up a position as a tour guide around Washington DC, on his retirement, and knew how the procedures at Arlington National Cemetery worked. He knew that it was almost impossible to gain permission for a grave site at Arlington, but it was possible to have a veteran’s ashes laid to rest there with full military honurs, if family and friends were prepared to push for it.

Sheppard took up the baton and he drafted an appeal for financial aid from the other residents of State House.

An appeal letter was hung on every doorknob in the building whilst Addams took up the task of researching Moore’s service record, a job that entailed bearding the bureaucratic lion in his den at the Pentagon.   Addams told an interview, “The medical examiner’s office was extremely helpful. When a person there heard that he was a veteran, she said they could arrange for him to be buried at Quantico. But we were committed to Arlington. There is no place like Arlington.”

In the mean time, the two friends had to get Moore’s body released to them. Under normal circumstances, in Washington DC, the body of an indigent or unclaimed person is cremated and the remains are buried in a mass coffin or if the body is that of a veteran the ashes are sent to Quantico.

Getting the body released to friends is unusual but does happen on rare occasions and Sheppard and Addams arranged for Moore’s body to be released to them and sent to a funeral home.

Sheppard and Addams took the letter explaining how they became the custodians of Moore’s body to Arlington to try and arrange to have his ashes laid to rest there. The officials at Arlington were reluctant to recognise Sheppard and Addams as PADD (Person Authorized to Direct Disposition).”I had to ask for a supervisor, as they usually talk to a brother or a close friend. I was just the guy down the hall,” said Addams.

Having arranged that the ashes could be laid to rest at Arlington, the pair now had to hope that their appeal for financial aid would come to fruition so they could pay for the cremation and buy a small urn. Much to Sheppard’s delight, envelopes began to appear underneath his door.

The residents of State House had risen to the occasion and altogether the sum of around $2,000 was raised to ensure that Andrew Moore had the send off benefiting a veteran. Thank-you notes, along with information about the funeral were sent to every donor. All in all the entire cremation cost $1,500 and the remainder of the money was donated to a veteran’s group.

his is how a single man with no blood family came to be laid to rest at Arlington, with full military honors, on that cool day. A man who fought for his country took his place for all eternity amongst his comrades in arms. The people that lived in the same block of apartments had come together to give a man they did not know the best send-off that they could.

This is a tale of compassion and the true meaning of family. Bill Sheppard, Nick Addams and all the residents of State House, Washington DC, deserve thanks and praise for their kindness.

Marine Missing From Battle for Tarawa Accounted For!

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This is from War History OnLine.

R. I. P. Cpl. James D. Otto Hand Salute.

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Cpl. James D. Otto

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

 Marine Cpl. James D. Otto, 20, of Los Angeles, will be buried Dec. 8, in Arlington National Cemetery. In November 1943, Otto was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll, in an attempt to secure the island.

Over several days of intense fighting, approximately 1,000 Marines were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. Otto was reported killed in action on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio Island, but Otto’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 10, 1949, a military review board declared Otto non-recoverable.

The Battle of Tarawa was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region. It was also the first time in the war that the United States faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. Previous landings met little or no initial resistance, but this time the 4,500 Japanese defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared, and they fought almost to the last man, exacting a heavy toll on the United States Marine Corps.

The U.S. had suffered similar casualties in other campaigns, for example over the six months of the Guadalcanal Campaign, but in this case, the losses were incurred within the space of 76 hours.

In June 2015, a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were U.S. Marines who fought during the battle in November 1943. The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015.

To identify Otto’s remains, scientists from DPAA used laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which Matched Otto’s records, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war.

Wreaths Across America – 8000 Wreaths Still Needed – Time Is Running Out!

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This is from War History OnLine. 

If you have a few dollars to send to these folks, it is going to Honor Our Veterans.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFPN) -- Christmas wreaths adorn head stones at Arlington National Cemetery. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery. More than 5,000 donated wreaths were placed by volunteers this year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi)

Each year, during the first two weeks of December, Americans are accustomed to seeing fresh green wreaths on the graves of those who have fallen while serving their country.

 The tributes appear on graves in over 1,000 cemeteries all over America and beyond – there are American military graves or memorials in 24 foreign locations. The wreaths let families know that their loved ones have not been forgotten by a grateful nation.

Many people believe that the memorial wreaths, each one costing around fifteen dollars are paid for and placed by the government, but that is not the case. The operation is funded and carried out by an organisation called ‘Wreaths Across America’.

It is no small task, there are over 400,000 graves in the Arlington National Cemetery alone, and altogether an army of 800,000 volunteers place almost three-quarters of a million wreaths in time for ‘Wreaths Across America day’ which this year falls on December 9th.

The project was started in 1992, when Morrill Worcester, the owner of the Worcester Wreath Company in Maine, found himself with a surplus of holiday wreaths as the end of the holiday season approached. Recalling a childhood visit to Arlington, Worcester arranged to lay wreaths on some of the graves there.

His gesture started a movement that grew as the years passed, and Wreaths Across America day became an annual event. In 2007, Worcester founded the non-profit organisation that now continues the tradition.

slideshow-graves

All this costs money, a great deal of money, and Wreaths Across America receives no government funding. Every penny of the three and a half-million-dollar budget has to be raised through donations, and that is no easy task, especially when economic conditions force ordinary Americans to think about every dollar they spend the Breitbart reports.

This year, as November drew to a close, Wreaths Across America was well short of the amount it needed, and many thousands of wreaths have still to be funded. The shortfall amounts to almost half a million dollars, and time is running out.

Donations continue to arrive, but the problem is not yet resolved. Some foreign countries will not permit the importation of fresh foliage, so in those locations volunteers must make local supply arrangements. Wreath-laying ceremonies can then be arranged- it all takes time and money.

As the deadline approaches, it can only be hoped that the necessary funds will arrive in time, and as they have in past years, American veterans’ graves will all bear an evergreen wreath.

Your support makes all the difference in making our mission a success. Help place a wreath on all fallen heroes’ graves this December.

Click here to help sponsor a wreath, it’s only $15!

(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi)

10 U.S Memorial Day Facts you might not know

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This is from War History OnLine.

For Gold Star families every day is Memorial Day.

I am a Gold Star family member.

IMG_8448-640x480

The Memorial Day in United States commemorates all those men and women who lost their lives while protecting the nation. Following are some important facts about the American Memorial Day.

  1. Since its very humble beginning on May 5, 1866, the Memorial Day was celebrated on 30th May every year. However in 1971 US congress established a new date for the day, and announced the last Monday of May as official Memorial Day.
  2. Initially the memorial day only commemorated U.S. personnel died during a deadly civil war from 1861 to 1865, but later it took under its wing all those who died for the country.
  3. A total of 620,000 Americans perished in the civil war, while 644,000 Americans lost their lives in all the other conflicts since then. American Civil War is still the single most deadly conflict of the American history.
  4. The ‘national moment of remembrance’ was set at 3 pm on Memorial Day. This was made possible by ‘the national moment of remembrance act’ in 2000 signed by President Clinton on Dec. 28.
  5. The Memorial Day had varying standings in past, one of which was a different name for the day. It used to be called the Democratic day. It was believed that soldiers died upholding the democratic values of the young nation.
  6. Red poppies have always been associated with the remembrance of the dead soldiers. People wear poppies to pay respect and tribute to those who made sacrifices for the nation.
  7. The most interesting fact about the memorial day is that although Federation celebrates the memorial day along with most of states remembering the union soldiers, however many states still celebrate the memorial days for confederate dead soldiers.
  8. About 5,000 people attended the first ever Memorial Day ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.
  9. Most of the deaths that took place during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 were as a result of a small pox outbreak. The total number of deaths is estimated to be around 620,000 – 365,000 Union while 260,000 confederate soldiers.
  10. Following is the estimate of the total number of American causalities since the Civil War.
  • In the Civil War 620,000 Americans died
  • WWI, 116,516 U.S soldiers died
  • In the Second World War 405,399 Americans died
  • Korean War killed 36,574 Americans.
  • 58,220 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam War
  • In Operation Desert Storm a total of 148 Americans died in the battlefield while another 145 died elsewhere during the operation.
  • 4,422 Americans died in the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • In Operation New Dawn 66 U.S Army personnel were killed
  • 2,318 Americans perished in the Operation Enduring Freedom.

Remains of WWII fighter pilot killed in 1944 crash in Germany identified

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This is from Stars and Stripes.

R. I. P. Army Air Corp 2nd Lt. Alvin Beethe.

Gods Speed and Hand Salute. 

image

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Alvin Beethe went missing on Nov. 26, 1944, while flying a P-38 Lightning over Germany. He was with the 393rd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force. Beethe’s remains have been identified and are to be buried on June 8, 2015, at Arlington National Cemetery. COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

STUTTGART, Germany — The remains of a U.S. pilot shot down during a World War II mission over Germany will be returned to relatives for a full military burial after recently being identified through DNA testing, according to the military.

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Alvin Beethe of Elk Creek, Neb., is to be buried June 8 at Arlington National Cemetery more than 70 years after he failed to return from a bombing mission in the western part of Germany, said the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

On Nov. 26, 1944, Beethe was piloting a P-38 Lightning aircraft that didn’t make it back from an operation against enemy forces.

At the time, another U.S. pilot reported that Beethe’s aircraft crashed near the village of Morschenich. Beethe, who was assigned to the 393rd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, was reported killed in action.

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning — the first purely military design built by Lockheed — was a long-range, twin-engine single-seat fighter. Because of its distinctive twin-booms, it was nicknamed the “Fork-Tailed Devil” by its German opponents.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command found Beethe’s crash site, but no remains were recovered at that time, according to the Pentagon’s MIA accounting agency.

Last week, Beethe’s younger cousin, Eileen Thiesfeld, told the Elk Creek Journal Star that the crash happened when Beethe failed to bring his plane out of a power dive.

“He could do things with an airplane that other guys wouldn’t even attempt to do,” she told the newspaper in a May 22 story.

“His mother and sister went out to California to see him before he went overseas and he performed for them in his airplane and they were just shocked how close he would come to the ground before he would pull that plane back up,” said Thiesfeld, who was 13 when Beethe was killed in action.

In 2008, there was a breakthrough in the case when local citizens informed U.S. authorities that a possible wartime crash site has been located in Morschenich. Such discoveries are not uncommon in Germany and other parts of Europe, where amateur researchers and hobbyists scout World War II crash sites for pieces of wreckage or evidence of remains.

Acting on the tip, the Defense Department dispatched a team in 2013 to survey the suspected crash site. Later in 2013, another DOD team returned to excavate the spot, and in the process, recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage.

To identify Beethe, military scientists used forensic identification tools including two types of DNA analysis, which matched a cousin and a nephew, according to DOD. It was not clear whether the cousin was Thiesfeld.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. More than 73,000 of them remain unaccounted for.

ARLINGTON CEMETERY: THIS HALLOWED GROUND

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This is from Warrior Scout.

I want to visit Arlington.

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On May 13, 1864, America’s most revered burial place was established on the pristine grounds of the Arlington Estate.

They are presidents, explorers, sports figures, judges, and admirals. And lots of every day people, too—farmers, teachers, and factory workers among others.

There are more than 300,000 of them—named and nameless, forgotten and revered, mourned and martyred, male and female, and of every race. With some exceptions, most share military service to their country and a final resting place on a hillside overlooking Washington, D.C.

Arlington National Cemetery, the most well known of the nation’s 130 military burial grounds, annually inters 6,000 dead—many of them succumbing to old age and disease, others just out of high school dying violently and suddenly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year, some 4 million visitors go to the cemetery to pay their respects.

Fittingly, Arlington was born of the cataclysm of war and the country’s desire to honor its fallen soldiers. At the beginning of the Civil War, no one anticipated the carnage or had made arrangements to deal with the dead, who lay exposed on battlefields or were buried where they fell, frequently thrown into mass pits, unidentified and unclaimed. The situation appalled the families back home as well as federal authorities. In 1864 Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered Army Quartermaster Montgomery C. Meigs to site a cemetery near Washington.

Meigs recommended only one location, the plantation called Arlington, which before the war had been the home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The federals already occupied the plantation for its high ground and had seized it for delinquent back taxes of $92.07.

Meigs also wanted to make the mansion permanently uninhabitable. On June 15, 1864, the day the government declared Arlington House (pictured below) and 200 surrounding acres a national cemetery, he buried 65 soldiers in the yard. That year dead and dying men flooded Washington from the pitched battles in Virginia—The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. Many of the casualties—both Union and Confederate—are buried in Arlington.


A sketch of Arlington House drawn in 1861, published in 1875
After the war, the government created other military cemeteries to accept human remains from “cleaned up” battlefields. The bones of more than 1,800 soldiers were gathered from the nearby Bull Run (Manassas) battlefield and buried in Mrs. Lee’s rose garden. More remains were later interred.

Robert E. Lee never returned to Arlington. But in 1883 the U.S. Supreme Court decided the estate had been confiscated illegally, and the government paid his family $150,000. By then, however, tens of thousands of graves ringed the mansion, and the land had become hallowed ground for the reunited nation.

Over the ensuing years, veterans of the Revolutionary War, the Mexican War, and other conflicts were reinterred at Arlington. It wasn’t until 1906 when the tensions of the Civil War had lessened that a memorial to the Confederate dead was approved; the corner stone was laid in November 1912 and the monument dedicated on June 4, 1914.

Today, the cemetery hosts dozens of memorials—to sailors killed in the explosion of the battleship USS Maine, to commandos lost in the 1980 Iranian hostage rescue mission, and to the astronauts who perished aboard Challenger.

The most revered memorial is the Tomb of the Unknowns (below), guarded 24 hours a day. The first American unknown was brought to Arlington from France in 1921. Servicemen from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam were interred later, although the Vietnam soldier was eventually identified and removed to a family cemetery.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Source: Getty Images.
As did predecessors, President John F. Kennedy visited Arlington and the tomb during his tenure. A few months before his assassination, he toured Arlington House and remarked on its magnificent view of Washington, saying he could stay there forever. He now rests on a slope just below the mansion—his brother, Bobby, too—and decades after their deaths their graves (below) remain an attraction for tourists.

A who’s who of American luminaries lies in Arlington, including Robert Peary and Matthew Alexander Henson, the first to reach the North Pole; boxer Joe Louis and civil rights leader Medgar Evers; John Wesley Powell, who explored the Grand Canyon; Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Ira Hayes, a Marine who helped hoist the flag at Iwo Jima; and Audie Murphy, World War II hero and movie star.

Until 1948 and Harry Truman’s executive order to desegregate the services, the dead were separated by race; today everyone is treated equally and with honor, each grave marked with a simple, formalized regulation stone. Because of space limitations, ground burial at Arlington is quite restricted, but criteria for the new Columbarium are more liberal and extend to all honorably discharged veterans and members of their immediate families.

The cemetery features a museum, a bus tour, and visitor’s center, but Arlington is unlike any other Washington attraction. About 30 people are interred on the grounds each weekday. Tourists may look down a slope or along a tree-shrouded road and watch a caisson and flag-draped casket passing by or hear the playing of taps and the sharp report of a rifle volley—all sobering reminders of service, conflict, and mortality.

MIA KOREAN SOLDIER IDENTIFIED

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This is from Warrior Scout.

R. I. P. Army Cpl. Richard L. Wing. Hand Salute.

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Army Cpl. Richard L. Wing was reported missing following a battle with Chinese forces in November 1950. The remains of Wing, who later was reported to have been captured by the Chinese, recently were positively identified Defense Department scientists.

Pentagon officials announced on Friday that the remains of a U.S. soldier, missing from the Korean War, were identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Richard L. Wing, 19, of Toledo, Ohio, will be buried June 5, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington D.C., according to the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

In late November 1950, Wing was assigned to Company H, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, which was deployed north and southeast of the town of Kunu-ri, North Korea, when their defensive line was attacked by Chinese forces, compelling the unit to retreat south to a more defensible position, near the town of Sunchon. Before they could disengage, the 1st Cavalry Division was forced to fight through a series of Chinese roadblocks, commonly known as the Gauntlet. Wing was reported missing in action after the battle.

In 1953, returning American soldiers who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Wing had been captured by Chinese forces in November 1950 near Kunu-ri, and died of dysentery in a prisoner of war camp known as Camp 5 in Pyokdong, North Korea.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain more than 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents, turned over at that time, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Wing was believed to have died.

To identify Wing’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, to include two forms of DNA analysis; mitochondrial DNA, which matched his sister and brother and Y-STR DNA, which matched his brother.

Today, 7,852 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American recovery teams.

WATCH: Old Guard Sentinel Puts Laughing Tourists In Their Place At Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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This is from Independent Journal Review.

I am glad I was not there as I would have gone to jail for punching these loud mouthed aholes upside their heads .

 

The Old Guard is the name familiarly given to the 3rd U.S. Infantry, an active-duty unit based in Washington, D.C. They serve as the President’s escort, and more publicly, serve as sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

It’s a high honor to be chosen to serve in the Old Guard, as the selection process is rigorous. They take their job incredibly seriously, as you see in the video above: a few seconds into the video, some people disrespect the sanctity of the memorial by loudly talking and laughing. Watch how this soldier quickly puts these people in their place – via the good folks at Conservative Post.

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