Saturday, May 23, 2015 8:00 AM

The third annual Mindful Memorial Day activities began May 17 with the installation of the Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial in the exhibit gallery of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial, at the gates of Arlington National Cemetery. Following a brief ceremony, volunteers hung 6,820 yellow ribbons in remembrance of our fallen warriors, especially those from our most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial will remain on display for the entire week preceding Memorial Day Weekend. During this time, visitors are welcome between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


On Saturday, May 23, the Ribbon Memorial will come to life with an 8 a.m. ceremonial meditation for volunteers. After which, volunteers will guide visitors into the Exhibit Gallery, explaining the significance of the ribbons, and assist them through the process of honoring an individual warrior by offering a mindful moment of gratitude. If they so desire, visitors may remove a single ribbon, affix a label containing the name, date of death, and operation of a fallen warrior, and wear the ribbon in tribute to the warrior. Tributes can also be posted to the Mindful Memorial Day facebook page.


Sunday, May 24, follows the same schedule. The Exhibit Gallery closes at 5 p.m. on both days.


Mindful Memorial Day was inaugurated two years ago by Armor Down, a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to helping our military service members make a successful transition back to civilian life. Armor Down’s founder, disabled Iraq War veteran Ben King, believes that the traumas created by our wars should not be left to the military alone to solve. To that end, Armor Down actively promotes the increased use of mindfulness techniques to help those still suffering and to provide a unique opportunity for veterans and civilians to unite around their shared practice.


This year’s event is produced under the auspices of the nonprofit Mindful Memorial Day Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.
Read More »

Monday, May 25, 2015 11:00 AM

The annual National Memorial Day Observance to honor America’s fallen military service members is scheduled for Monday, May 25 at Arlington National Cemetery.


The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to be followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Defense in Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater. A prelude by the United States Marine Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m.


Both the wreath-laying ceremony and the observance program are free and open to the general public.  No tickets are needed to attend these events.  Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater.  Attendees are encouraged to be at the Tomb of the Unknowns or seated in the amphitheater by 9:30 a.m.


Free parking is available for vehicles in the Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center’s parking lot from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.  A free shuttle service will provide transportation to the Memorial Amphitheater beginning at 8 a.m.  Walking to the amphitheater is prohibited.  After the observance, shuttles will provide transportation back to the Welcome Center until 2 p.m.


Attendees will be required to pass through a security checkpoint to gain access to the ceremony.  Prohibited items include: large bags or backpacks, firearms and weapons of any type, laser pointers, aerosol containers, soda cans, umbrellas, coolers, picnic baskets, tripods, lighters, personal protection sprays, and insulated beverage containers.


Clear plastic water bottles are permitted.


NOTE:  DoD identification card holders will not be permitted to walk from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall into the cemetery.  Instead, they must park their vehicles on post and board a free shuttle bus at the Fort Myer Memorial Chapel.  The shuttle service is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. After the observance, shuttles will provide transportation back to Fort Myer Memorial Chapel.

Read More »

Saturday, May 30, 2015 9:00 AM

Arlington Natioinal Cemetery is hosting a wreath ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the USS Maine Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson dedicated the USS Maine Memorial in honor of those who lost their lives in the destruction of the of the USS Maine at Havana, Cuba, February 15, 1898. Two hundred-fifty on board were killed at the time of the explosion and 102 were saved, but seven later died because of wounds incurred in the explosion.

Read More »

Saturday, May 30, 2015 5:00 PM

The Lincoln-Cushing Camp No. 2 of the Sons of Union Veterans is hosting a traditional Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery’s James Tanner Amphitheater.  The event starts at 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public.


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was officially proclaimed in 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The first national observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868. In the early 1870s, Arlington’s national observance drew crowds of 25,000 a year – more than the population of Washington, D.C. at the time. The observance provides a glimpse of how Memorial Day was conducted after the Civil War, including participants in period uniforms.


About the James Tanner Amphitheater:


Last year, as part of Arlington National Cemetery's 150th Anniversary Observance, the original amphitheater was named in honor of Corporal James R. Tanner in conjunction with the annual Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Decoration Day observance. 


Tanner, a corporal in the 87th New York Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, suffered a gruesome wound at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862 which resulted in the loss of both legs. After the war, this wounded warrior became a stenographer and was present both at Abraham Lincoln's deathbed and during the trial of the Lincoln conspirators. He was an advocate for veterans' rights and served for a time as the Commissioner of Pensions. He later became the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic. He is now buried a few yards from the structure that will bear his name in Section 2, grave 877.


Originally built in 1873 for the celebration of the fifth Decoration Day, the "Old" Amphitheater played a crucial role in all May 30 celebrations at Arlington National Cemetery until 1920 when the larger Memorial Amphitheater was dedicated.


During those 47 years, Presidents, Commanders-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (a veterans organization for those who had served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, and Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War), and other dignitaries addressed tens of thousands who traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to honor America's fallen service members.

Read More »

Friday, June 05, 2015 9:00 AM

Arlington National Cemetery has long been recognized as a place of beauty,with the trees and plantings contributing greatly to the overall character and iconic image of the cemetery as one of the Nation's most sacred places. In this tour you will learn firsthand from the cemetery's horticulture division chief and Master Arborist Steve Van Hoven about the cemetery's Memorial Arboretum, recently accredited by Arbnet as a Level II arboretum. You'll gain insight into the urban forestry program, including its extensive tree collection and state champion trees; its turf and ground maintenance; and the variety of techniques used to create some of the most breathtaking formal and informal landscapes and gardens.


Tour is free, but you must register. Space is limited. Tour starts in the Welcome Center lobby. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water with you.


Read More »

1 2