Arlington National Cemetery 150th Anniversary Commemoration, May 13, 2014 to June 16, 2014
Arlington National Cemetery officially concluded its 150th anniversary commemoration with a first-ever evening performance in the Memorial Amphitheater on June 15 and an Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Ceremony on June 16.
The observance program, which took place 150 years to the day of Arlington’s establishment on June 15, 1864, included historic videos and on-stage vignettes, a live Changing of the Guard sequence and wreath ceremony, and music from the U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” and a Joint Chorus made up of singers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
The five-week commemoration began with a wreath laying on May 13 at the gravesite of Army Pvt. William Christman, the cemetery’s first military burial, and ended with the wreath ceremony on June 16. Other events included a history lecture, a special ceremony to rename the Old Amphitheater as the James Tanner Amphitheater, and 10 guided tours that highlighted the military conflicts and historic individuals buried here who shaped the cemetery and the nation.
What was once created out of necessity during the American Civil War, Arlington National Cemetery is a national shrine for hundreds of thousands active duty military members, veterans and their families who have served during times of war and times of peace. The history of our nation can be seen every day – America's heroes are buried here from every American conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the conflicts of the 21st century, and will continue to be for generations to come.