Author: Kevin M. Hymel, Historian
90 found

Gen. George C. Marshall’s Meets his Valentine, Katherine Brown

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 2/14/2024

This Valentine’s Day, we remember the love between Gen. George C. Marshall and his second wife, Katherine Tupper Brown. They first met in the summer of 1929. Both were widowers who never intended to remarry.

Marshall, a colonel at Fort Benning, Georgia, (now Fort Moore), accepted an invitation to a dinner nearby Columbus. Brown came to the dinner reluctantly from Baltimore, Maryland, with her seventeen-year-old daughter Molly. Marshall was standing by the fireplace when Brown entered the house. “My first impression,” she later recalled, “was of a tall, slender man with sandy hair and deep-set eyes.” He immediately impressed her by refusing a cocktail. They spent the entire dinner bantering back and forth as Brown found herself attracted to the officer and his “way of looking right through you.

Army General who was Once a Montford Point Marine Laid to Rest at ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 2/9/2024

Decades before Albert Bryant retired from the U.S. Army as a brigadier general, he broke the U.S. Marine Corps color barrier during World War II. The Marine Corps barred Black Americans from serving prior to the war, but in 1942 it opened its ranks to Black volunteers. The first Blacks to serve in the Corps were trained at Montford Point, North Carolina, becoming known as Montford Point Marines. They eventually fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In many ways, they were the Tuskegee Airmen of the Pacific.

NASA Honors Astronauts Buried at ANC

We are here to remember so that we never repeat the mistakes of the past,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told a gathering of more than 100 NASA employees, family members and friends at Arlington National Cemetery on Jan. 25, 2024, NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance. “Because of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia, we honor 17 souls deep in our hearts.” Traditionally held on the fourth Thursday in January, the NASA Day of Remembrance commemorates the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia—all of whom are honored with monuments at ANC. The timing of the annual remembrance reflects the anniversaries of the three disasters, which happened to occur between the dates of Jan. 27 and Feb. 1.

WWII Veterans Gather to Remember Battle of the Bulge

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 1/29/2024

On Jan. 25, 2024, about 60 people, including six World War II veterans, gathered at Arlington National Cemetery’s Battle of the Bulge Memorial to lay wreaths and remember the fallen from one of the deadliest campaigns of World War II.

Volunteers Brave Bitter Cold to Remove Wreaths from ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 1/24/2024

Ankle-deep snow and temperatures hovering below 25 degrees could not keep people from Arlington National Cemetery to honor servicemembers and their families on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. They gathered at the gates for the cemetery’s 8 a.m. opening to pick up the wreaths laid at headstones and niches on Dec. 16, 2023, as part of the annual Wreaths Across America event.

Former Tomb Guard Pins Son with Badge

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 1/16/2024

When Bryan Campagna pinned the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification badge onto the chest of his son, Staff Sgt. Isaiah Jasso-Campagna, it symbolized more than a father honoring his son. Campagna had earned his own Tomb badge as a Tomb Guard decades earlier, making the pair only the second father-son badge earners in the history of the Army’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).

Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor Recipient Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 1/4/2024

When word came to abandon ship, Seaman 1st Class James Richard Ward remained at his post. The USS Oklahoma, docked at Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, had just been blasted by a series of Japanese torpedoes and began to capsize. Instead of charging out of the turret he manned, Ward held a flashlight to guide his fellow seamen out of danger. His selfless sacrifice saved countless lives and earned him the Medal of Honor.

Thousands Lay Wreaths at ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 1/4/2024

They lined up by thousands to honor the nation’s fallen during the holiday season. When Arlington National Cemetery opened on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, civilians and military personnel alike retrieved wreaths from trucks and headed across the grounds to place them at headstones and columbarium niches. 

ANC Employees Lay Wreaths at Headstones

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 12/18/2023

On Dec. 15, 2023, the day before the public comes to Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths on headstones as part of Wreaths Across America, ANC employees spread out in Section 37 to lay wreaths themselves. This practice is a holiday tradition to give those who work at the cemetery a chance to honor those laid to rest.