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Arlington National Cemetery Commemorates 150 Years

May 13 to June 16, 2014

Memorial Amphitheater lit up for an evening performance celebrating Arlington National Cemetery's 150th anniversaryOn June 15 and 16, 2014, Arlington National Cemetery concluded its month-long 150th anniversary commemoration with a first-ever evening performance in the Memorial Amphitheater and an armed forces full honors wreath ceremony.

The observance program — which took place 150 years to the day after Arlington’s establishment on June 15, 1864 — included historic videos and on-stage vignettes, a live changing of the guard sequence and music from the U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” and a joint chorus comprised 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 guided tours highlighting military conflicts and historic individuals buried here.

wreath in front of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Created out of necessity during the American Civil War, Arlington National Cemetery has become 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. Heroes from every American conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the wars of the 21st century, are buried here. The history of our nation can be seen at the cemetery every day.