Commemorating National Native American Heritage Month

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 11/19/2020

During National Native American Heritage Month, we are proud to honor the life and legacy of Zitkála-Ša (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), who is buried in Section 2, Grave 4703. Zitkála-Ša, whose name means “Red Bird,” was one of the most important American Indian activists and writers of the 20th century.

245th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 11/9/2020

On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized two battalions of Marines to be raised. Two weeks later, Samuel Nicholas was commissioned a Captain of Marines by the Continental Congress. He is traditionally regarded as the first Commandant of the Marine Corps. Read our guest blog post from the National Museum of the Marine Corps to learn more about important moments in Marine Corps history. 

“The Monitor Is No More:” Honoring the Lost Men of USS Monitor

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 10/13/2020

As part of the 245th anniversary of the birth of the United States Navy, we are highlighting a small monument at Arlington National Cemetery that honors the sixteen men from the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor who perished in the sinking of the vessel in a gale off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on New Year’s Eve, 1862.

The Navy Legacy at Arlington National Cemetery

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 10/13/2020

As the nation commemorates the 245th birthday of the United States Navy, we take a moment to reflect on those sailors and civilians who faithfully served the Navy and were laid to rest in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). 

A Latino Legacy in the Air Force: Hector Santa Anna

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 9/25/2020

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, as well as the recent birthday of the United States Air Force (USAF), today we honor the service of one Latino USAF veteran buried at Arlington: Hector Santa Anna, a decorated World War II B-17 bomber pilot, Berlin Airlift pilot and career military leader with a memorable last name. Santa Anna happened to be the great-great nephew of Mexican general Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who famously led the siege of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution of 1836. But this Santa Anna fought for the United States—beginning in the Army Air Corps during World War II and continuing with the Air Force after its establishment as an independent service branch in 1947.

Commemorating the United States Air Force Birthday

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 9/17/2020

On July 26, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which created the Department of the Air Force as an independent branch of the U.S. armed services. The act went into effect on September 18, 1947, making September 18 the official birthday of the United States Air Force (USAF).

Education Program Highlight: The Spanish-American War

By JENIFER LEIGH VAN VLECK on 8/20/2020

Although the Spanish-American War lasted for only a few months in 1898, the legacy of this brief yet transformative conflict is marked on the landscape of Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington has more Spanish-American War memorials and gravesites than any other single place in the United States. Learn why—and gain insights into the broader history and legacy of the Spanish-American War. 

Education Program Highlight: The African American Experience at Arlington National Cemetery

By TIMOTHY JAMES LAWSON on 8/10/2020

The African American Experience at Arlington National Cemetery education module forms a key part of ANC’s commitment to interpreting the significant legacy of African Americans on the land that now comprises the cemetery. African American history is woven into every inch of this property. Through exploring these stories, our educational materials use ANC as a lens through which students can learn about the central issues of American history.

Renovations for Sections 33 and 60

By TIMOTHY JAMES LAWSON on 8/7/2020

If you ever notice sections of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) stripped of their lush green grass, just know that they appear that way for an important reason. “It’s turf renovation,” explained Stephen Van Hoven, who has been ANC’s chief of horticulture for the last nine years. “We do about 30 acres every year.” As a national shrine, and a Level III Arboretum, ANC maintains its grounds to national shrine standard.

Lest We Forget: The Coast Guard War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery (Part 2)

By TIMOTHY JAMES LAWSON on 8/4/2020

Today, August 4, is the 230th birthday of the United States Coast Guard. In honor of those Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives during World War I, a memorial was erected at Arlington National Cemetery in 1928.