Remembering the Sacred 20 at ANC: A Walking Tour in Honor of the Navy Birthday


In honor of the birthday of the U.S. Navy, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is pleased to present a new specialty public walking tour on Friday, Oct. 13 focused on the Sacred 20, the first women to join the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. ANC will be hosting historians from the U.S. Navy to share this fascinating story by exploring sites that range from memorials to graves.

The tour will trace the origins, development and significance of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps starting with the Spanish-American War. Stops will include the Spanish-American War Nurses Memorial, the Nurses Memorial, and the graves of numerous members of the Sacred 20 such as Lenah S. Higbee, who went on to become superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps and one of the first women to be awarded the Navy Cross. Visitors will learn about the crucial role the Sacred 20 played in developing military medicine and expanding opportunities for women to officially serve in the armed forces.

Event Details

•  This free tour is open to the general public. Pre-registration is not necessary. Simply meet the guides inside the ANC Welcome Center at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 13. 

•  The group will then walk to the tram circle to board the tram. The tour will conclude by approximately 12:30 p.m., and participants will be dropped off back at the Welcome Center. 

•  While this tour will utilize a tram vehicle to reach each site, it will still involve walking over uneven terrain. Participants should wear comfortable footwear, hats and sunglasses. Please dress for the weather and bring plenty of water.

The Sacred 20, photographed at the Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C., circa 1908.
(Naval History and Heritage Command)