John Rodgers Meigs tomb – foot – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – foot – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011
Virginia Union University
Image by dctim1
Closeup of the foot of the bas-relief top of the grave marker of John Rodgers Meigs, adjacent to the tomb of Montgomery C. Meigs, founder of Arlington National Cemtery. The tomb is located in Section 1 of the cemetery, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States.

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (May 3, 1816-January 2, 1892) was a Georgian who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. He entered the Corps of Engineeers, and oversaw numerous civil engineering projects in and around Washington, D.C., (including the construction of the Capitol Dome). He was promoted to Brigadier General on May 15, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster General. Meigs successfully proposed that the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s estate in Arlington, Virginia, be transformed into a cemetery for Civil War Dead. The first burial there was made on May 13, 1864. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864. During his tenure as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemtery, Meigs erected the Memorial to Civil War Unknown Dead, the Old Amphitheater, enclosed the cemetery in a low sandstone wall, constructed roads and pathways, and erected the McClellan Gate (on which he had inscribed his own name). Meigs was forced to retire as Quartermaster General in 1882.

Meigs picked out the plot for and designed his own tomb. It sits on a 2 foot, 6 inch high base of rough rectangular gray granite stones mortared together like bricks. The tomb itself is in the shape of a 3 feet high, 6 feet long white marble sarcophagus. It is oriented along an east-west axis. On the south side of the tomb is an inscription to Meigs’ wife, Louisa. She was the daughter of U.S. Navy Commodote John Rodgers.

However, before Meigs or his wife had died, another burial occurred alongside their plot. Their son, John Rodgers Meigs, was a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was killed near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in October 1864. Meigs designed a marker for his son’s burial site. A 2 foot high base of green marble supports a bronze bas-relief image of the younger Meigs in full Union Army uniform and gear, lying dead in a muddy road. Discarded Confederate military gear lies alongside him. The prints of horses’ hooves can be seen in the mud, implying that John Rodgers Meigs was trampled by fleeing Confederate troops.

Meigs had his grandfather’s remains moved to lie next to his own tomb. His grandfather, Samuel William Meigs, died in 1818 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. The original tombstone, a 2 foot square stone block set on two rectangular bases, was moved as well. Buried with Samuel was his father and Montgomery C. Meigs’ grandfather, Josiah Meigs. Josiah was president of the University of Georgia from 1800 to 1811. Bronze plaques on the tombstone commemorate both me.

Buried northwest adjacent to the Meigs tomb are Montgomery Meigs Macomb and his wife, Caroline. Macomb was Montgomery C. Meig’s nephew (son of his wife Lousia’s sister, Ann Minerva Rodgers Macomb). He served as Montgomery C. Meigs’ aide-de-camp from 1875 to 1876. He himself rose to be a brigadier general, served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was military governor of Hawaii after it was forcibly annexed by the U.S.

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – looking west – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – looking west – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011
Virginia Union University
Image by dctim1
Looking west at the bas-relief top of the grave marker of John Rodgers Meigs, adjacent to the tomb of Montgomery C. Meigs, founder of Arlington National Cemtery. The tomb is located in Section 1 of the cemetery, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States.

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (May 3, 1816-January 2, 1892) was a Georgian who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. He entered the Corps of Engineeers, and oversaw numerous civil engineering projects in and around Washington, D.C., (including the construction of the Capitol Dome). He was promoted to Brigadier General on May 15, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster General. Meigs successfully proposed that the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s estate in Arlington, Virginia, be transformed into a cemetery for Civil War Dead. The first burial there was made on May 13, 1864. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864. During his tenure as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemtery, Meigs erected the Memorial to Civil War Unknown Dead, the Old Amphitheater, enclosed the cemetery in a low sandstone wall, constructed roads and pathways, and erected the McClellan Gate (on which he had inscribed his own name). Meigs was forced to retire as Quartermaster General in 1882.

Meigs picked out the plot for and designed his own tomb. It sits on a 2 foot, 6 inch high base of rough rectangular gray granite stones mortared together like bricks. The tomb itself is in the shape of a 3 feet high, 6 feet long white marble sarcophagus. It is oriented along an east-west axis. On the south side of the tomb is an inscription to Meigs’ wife, Louisa. She was the daughter of U.S. Navy Commodote John Rodgers.

However, before Meigs or his wife had died, another burial occurred alongside their plot. Their son, John Rodgers Meigs, was a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was killed near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in October 1864. Meigs designed a marker for his son’s burial site. A 2 foot high base of green marble supports a bronze bas-relief image of the younger Meigs in full Union Army uniform and gear, lying dead in a muddy road. Discarded Confederate military gear lies alongside him. The prints of horses’ hooves can be seen in the mud, implying that John Rodgers Meigs was trampled by fleeing Confederate troops.

Meigs had his grandfather’s remains moved to lie next to his own tomb. His grandfather, Samuel William Meigs, died in 1818 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. The original tombstone, a 2 foot square stone block set on two rectangular bases, was moved as well. Buried with Samuel was his father and Montgomery C. Meigs’ grandfather, Josiah Meigs. Josiah was president of the University of Georgia from 1800 to 1811. Bronze plaques on the tombstone commemorate both me.

Buried northwest adjacent to the Meigs tomb are Montgomery Meigs Macomb and his wife, Caroline. Macomb was Montgomery C. Meig’s nephew (son of his wife Lousia’s sister, Ann Minerva Rodgers Macomb). He served as Montgomery C. Meigs’ aide-de-camp from 1875 to 1876. He himself rose to be a brigadier general, served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was military governor of Hawaii after it was forcibly annexed by the U.S.

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – upper detail – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – upper detail – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011
Virginia Union University
Image by dctim1
Closeup of the bas-relief top of the grave marker of John Rodgers Meigs, adjacent to the tomb of Montgomery C. Meigs, founder of Arlington National Cemtery. The tomb is located in Section 1 of the cemetery, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States.

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (May 3, 1816-January 2, 1892) was a Georgian who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. He entered the Corps of Engineeers, and oversaw numerous civil engineering projects in and around Washington, D.C., (including the construction of the Capitol Dome). He was promoted to Brigadier General on May 15, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster General. Meigs successfully proposed that the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s estate in Arlington, Virginia, be transformed into a cemetery for Civil War Dead. The first burial there was made on May 13, 1864. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864. During his tenure as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemtery, Meigs erected the Memorial to Civil War Unknown Dead, the Old Amphitheater, enclosed the cemetery in a low sandstone wall, constructed roads and pathways, and erected the McClellan Gate (on which he had inscribed his own name). Meigs was forced to retire as Quartermaster General in 1882.

Meigs picked out the plot for and designed his own tomb. It sits on a 2 foot, 6 inch high base of rough rectangular gray granite stones mortared together like bricks. The tomb itself is in the shape of a 3 feet high, 6 feet long white marble sarcophagus. It is oriented along an east-west axis. On the south side of the tomb is an inscription to Meigs’ wife, Louisa. She was the daughter of U.S. Navy Commodote John Rodgers.

However, before Meigs or his wife had died, another burial occurred alongside their plot. Their son, John Rodgers Meigs, was a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was killed near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in October 1864. Meigs designed a marker for his son’s burial site. A 2 foot high base of green marble supports a bronze bas-relief image of the younger Meigs in full Union Army uniform and gear, lying dead in a muddy road. Discarded Confederate military gear lies alongside him. The prints of horses’ hooves can be seen in the mud, implying that John Rodgers Meigs was trampled by fleeing Confederate troops.

Meigs had his grandfather’s remains moved to lie next to his own tomb. His grandfather, Samuel William Meigs, died in 1818 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. The original tombstone, a 2 foot square stone block set on two rectangular bases, was moved as well. Buried with Samuel was his father and Montgomery C. Meigs’ grandfather, Josiah Meigs. Josiah was president of the University of Georgia from 1800 to 1811. Bronze plaques on the tombstone commemorate both me.

Buried northwest adjacent to the Meigs tomb are Montgomery Meigs Macomb and his wife, Caroline. Macomb was Montgomery C. Meig’s nephew (son of his wife Lousia’s sister, Ann Minerva Rodgers Macomb). He served as Montgomery C. Meigs’ aide-de-camp from 1875 to 1876. He himself rose to be a brigadier general, served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was military governor of Hawaii after it was forcibly annexed by the U.S.

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011

John Rodgers Meigs tomb – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011
Virginia Union University
Image by dctim1
Looking slightly northwest at the top of the grave marker of John Rodgers Meigs, adjacent to the tomb of Montgomery C. Meigs, founder of Arlington National Cemtery. The tomb is located in Section 1 of the cemetery, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States.

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (May 3, 1816-January 2, 1892) was a Georgian who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. He entered the Corps of Engineeers, and oversaw numerous civil engineering projects in and around Washington, D.C., (including the construction of the Capitol Dome). He was promoted to Brigadier General on May 15, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster General. Meigs successfully proposed that the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s estate in Arlington, Virginia, be transformed into a cemetery for Civil War Dead. The first burial there was made on May 13, 1864. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864. During his tenure as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemtery, Meigs erected the Memorial to Civil War Unknown Dead, the Old Amphitheater, enclosed the cemetery in a low sandstone wall, constructed roads and pathways, and erected the McClellan Gate (on which he had inscribed his own name). Meigs was forced to retire as Quartermaster General in 1882.

Meigs picked out the plot for and designed his own tomb. It sits on a 2 foot, 6 inch high base of rough rectangular gray granite stones mortared together like bricks. The tomb itself is in the shape of a 3 feet high, 6 feet long white marble sarcophagus. It is oriented along an east-west axis. On the south side of the tomb is an inscription to Meigs’ wife, Louisa. She was the daughter of U.S. Navy Commodote John Rodgers.

However, before Meigs or his wife had died, another burial occurred alongside their plot. Their son, John Rodgers Meigs, was a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was killed near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in October 1864. Meigs designed a marker for his son’s burial site. A 2 foot high base of green marble supports a bronze bas-relief image of the younger Meigs in full Union Army uniform and gear, lying dead in a muddy road. Discarded Confederate military gear lies alongside him. The prints of horses’ hooves can be seen in the mud, implying that John Rodgers Meigs was trampled by fleeing Confederate troops.

Meigs had his grandfather’s remains moved to lie next to his own tomb. His grandfather, Samuel William Meigs, died in 1818 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. The original tombstone, a 2 foot square stone block set on two rectangular bases, was moved as well. Buried with Samuel was his father and Montgomery C. Meigs’ grandfather, Josiah Meigs. Josiah was president of the University of Georgia from 1800 to 1811. Bronze plaques on the tombstone commemorate both me.

Buried northwest adjacent to the Meigs tomb are Montgomery Meigs Macomb and his wife, Caroline. Macomb was Montgomery C. Meig’s nephew (son of his wife Lousia’s sister, Ann Minerva Rodgers Macomb). He served as Montgomery C. Meigs’ aide-de-camp from 1875 to 1876. He himself rose to be a brigadier general, served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was military governor of Hawaii after it was forcibly annexed by the U.S.

Montgomery C Meigs grave – S detail tomb – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011

Montgomery C Meigs grave – S detail tomb – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011
Virginia Union University
Image by dctim1
Detail of the south face of the tomb of Montgomery C. Meigs, founder of Arlington National Cemtery. The tomb is located in Section 1 of the cemetery, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States.

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (May 3, 1816-January 2, 1892) was a Georgian who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. He entered the Corps of Engineeers, and oversaw numerous civil engineering projects in and around Washington, D.C., (including the construction of the Capitol Dome). He was promoted to Brigadier General on May 15, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster General. Meigs successfully proposed that the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s estate in Arlington, Virginia, be transformed into a cemetery for Civil War Dead. The first burial there was made on May 13, 1864. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864. During his tenure as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemtery, Meigs erected the Memorial to Civil War Unknown Dead, the Old Amphitheater, enclosed the cemetery in a low sandstone wall, constructed roads and pathways, and erected the McClellan Gate (on which he had inscribed his own name). Meigs was forced to retire as Quartermaster General in 1882.

Meigs picked out the plot for and designed his own tomb. It sits on a 2 foot, 6 inch high base of rough rectangular gray granite stones mortared together like bricks. The tomb itself is in the shape of a 3 feet high, 6 feet long white marble sarcophagus. It is oriented along an east-west axis. On the south side of the tomb is an inscription to Meigs’ wife, Louisa. She was the daughter of U.S. Navy Commodote John Rodgers.

However, before Meigs or his wife had died, another burial occurred alongside their plot. Their son, John Rodgers Meigs, was a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was killed near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in October 1864. Meigs designed a marker for his son’s burial site. A 2 foot high base of green marble supports a bronze bas-relief image of the younger Meigs in full Union Army uniform and gear, lying dead in a muddy road. Discarded Confederate military gear lies alongside him. The prints of horses’ hooves can be seen in the mud, implying that John Rodgers Meigs was trampled by fleeing Confederate troops.

Meigs had his grandfather’s remains moved to lie next to his own tomb. His grandfather, Samuel William Meigs, died in 1818 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. The original tombstone, a 2 foot square stone block set on two rectangular bases, was moved as well. Buried with Samuel was his father and Montgomery C. Meigs’ grandfather, Josiah Meigs. Josiah was president of the University of Georgia from 1800 to 1811. Bronze plaques on the tombstone commemorate both me.

Buried northwest adjacent to the Meigs tomb are Montgomery Meigs Macomb and his wife, Caroline. Macomb was Montgomery C. Meig’s nephew (son of his wife Lousia’s sister, Ann Minerva Rodgers Macomb). He served as Montgomery C. Meigs’ aide-de-camp from 1875 to 1876. He himself rose to be a brigadier general, served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was military governor of Hawaii after it was forcibly annexed by the U.S.

Montgomery C Meigs tomb – looking W – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011

Montgomery C Meigs tomb – looking W – Arlington National Cemetery – 2011
Virginia Union University
Image by dctim1
Looking west at the tomb of Montgomery C. Meigs, founder of Arlington National Cemtery. The tomb is located in Section 1 of the cemetery, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. In the foreground of the tomb is the grave marker of Meigs’ son, John Rodgers Meigs.

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (May 3, 1816-January 2, 1892) was a Georgian who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1836. He entered the Corps of Engineeers, and oversaw numerous civil engineering projects in and around Washington, D.C., (including the construction of the Capitol Dome). He was promoted to Brigadier General on May 15, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster General. Meigs successfully proposed that the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s estate in Arlington, Virginia, be transformed into a cemetery for Civil War Dead. The first burial there was made on May 13, 1864. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approved the establishment of a military cemetery on June 15, 1864. During his tenure as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemtery, Meigs erected the Memorial to Civil War Unknown Dead, the Old Amphitheater, enclosed the cemetery in a low sandstone wall, constructed roads and pathways, and erected the McClellan Gate (on which he had inscribed his own name). Meigs was forced to retire as Quartermaster General in 1882.

Meigs picked out the plot for and designed his own tomb. It sits on a 2 foot, 6 inch high base of rough rectangular gray granite stones mortared together like bricks. The tomb itself is in the shape of a 3 feet high, 6 feet long white marble sarcophagus. It is oriented along an east-west axis. On the south side of the tomb is an inscription to Meigs’ wife, Louisa. She was the daughter of U.S. Navy Commodote John Rodgers.

However, before Meigs or his wife had died, another burial occurred alongside their plot. Their son, John Rodgers Meigs, was a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was killed near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in October 1864. Meigs designed a marker for his son’s burial site. A 2 foot high base of green marble supports a bronze bas-relief image of the younger Meigs in full Union Army uniform and gear, lying dead in a muddy road. Discarded Confederate military gear lies alongside him. The prints of horses’ hooves can be seen in the mud, implying that John Rodgers Meigs was trampled by fleeing Confederate troops.

Meigs had his grandfather’s remains moved to lie next to his own tomb. His grandfather, Samuel William Meigs, died in 1818 and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. The original tombstone, a 2 foot square stone block set on two rectangular bases, was moved as well. Buried with Samuel was his father and Montgomery C. Meigs’ grandfather, Josiah Meigs. Josiah was president of the University of Georgia from 1800 to 1811. Bronze plaques on the tombstone commemorate both me.

Buried northwest adjacent to the Meigs tomb are Montgomery Meigs Macomb and his wife, Caroline. Macomb was Montgomery C. Meig’s nephew (son of his wife Lousia’s sister, Ann Minerva Rodgers Macomb). He served as Montgomery C. Meigs’ aide-de-camp from 1875 to 1876. He himself rose to be a brigadier general, served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and was military governor of Hawaii after it was forcibly annexed by the U.S.

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns
Virginia Western
Image by wallyg
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, was completed and opened to the public on April 9, 1932 without any ceremony in the plaza of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, Congress authorized that four unknowns be exhumed from World War I cemeteries in France and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1921. Initially known the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it has become known by its more generic moniker when other unknown serviceman were later entombed, but was never officially named.

The tomb’s design was selected in a competition won by architect Lorimer Rich. The sarcophagus, made of white Yule marble quarried in Colorado, has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classical pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. Inscribed on the western panel of the Tomb are the words: "Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known But to God." Six wreaths, representing the six major battles of World War I, are carved into the north and south of the tomb. White marble slabs, flush with the plaza, mark the crypts of the unknowns from World War II, interred on May 30, 1958, the Korean War, interred on May 30, 1958, and the Vietnam War, interred on May 28, 1984. The remains of the Vietnam unknown, later identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie, were disinterred on May 14, 1998 and the crypt remains empty.

The Tomb of the Unknowns has perpetually guarded by the U.S. Army, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Since July 2, 1937, this has been the responsibility of The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Guards are changed every half hour during the summer months, every hour during the winter months, and every two hours when the cemetery is closed to the public.

Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery directly across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., was established during the Civil War on the grounds of the Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington. By 1864, the military cemeteries of Washington and Alexandria were filled with Union dead. After Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs quickly selected Arlington as a replacement, in part to prevent the Lee’s from ever returning, the government confiscated the land claiming unpaid property taxes. Today, more than 300,000 people, including veterans and military casualties from every one of the nation’s wars, are interred in the 624-acre cemetery administered by the Department of the Navy.

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns
Virginia Western
Image by wallyg
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, was completed and opened to the public on April 9, 1932 without any ceremony in the plaza of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, Congress authorized that four unknowns be exhumed from World War I cemeteries in France and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1921. Initially known the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it has become known by its more generic moniker when other unknown serviceman were later entombed, but was never officially named.

The tomb’s design was selected in a competition won by architect Lorimer Rich. The sarcophagus, made of white Yule marble quarried in Colorado, has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classical pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. Inscribed on the western panel of the Tomb are the words: "Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known But to God." Six wreaths, representing the six major battles of World War I, are carved into the north and south of the tomb. White marble slabs, flush with the plaza, mark the crypts of the unknowns from World War II, interred on May 30, 1958, the Korean War, interred on May 30, 1958, and the Vietnam War, interred on May 28, 1984. The remains of the Vietnam unknown, later identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie, were disinterred on May 14, 1998 and the crypt remains empty.

The Tomb of the Unknowns has perpetually guarded by the U.S. Army, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Since July 2, 1937, this has been the responsibility of The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Guards are changed every half hour during the summer months, every hour during the winter months, and every two hours when the cemetery is closed to the public.

Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery directly across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., was established during the Civil War on the grounds of the Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington. By 1864, the military cemeteries of Washington and Alexandria were filled with Union dead. After Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs quickly selected Arlington as a replacement, in part to prevent the Lee’s from ever returning, the government confiscated the land claiming unpaid property taxes. Today, more than 300,000 people, including veterans and military casualties from every one of the nation’s wars, are interred in the 624-acre cemetery administered by the Department of the Navy.

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns
Virginia Western
Image by wallyg
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, was completed and opened to the public on April 9, 1932 without any ceremony in the plaza of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, Congress authorized that four unknowns be exhumed from World War I cemeteries in France and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1921. Initially known the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it has become known by its more generic moniker when other unknown serviceman were later entombed, but was never officially named.

The tomb’s design was selected in a competition won by architect Lorimer Rich. The sarcophagus, made of white Yule marble quarried in Colorado, has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classical pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. Inscribed on the western panel of the Tomb are the words: "Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known But to God." Six wreaths, representing the six major battles of World War I, are carved into the north and south of the tomb. White marble slabs, flush with the plaza, mark the crypts of the unknowns from World War II, interred on May 30, 1958, the Korean War, interred on May 30, 1958, and the Vietnam War, interred on May 28, 1984. The remains of the Vietnam unknown, later identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie, were disinterred on May 14, 1998 and the crypt remains empty.

The Tomb of the Unknowns has perpetually guarded by the U.S. Army, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Since July 2, 1937, this has been the responsibility of The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Guards are changed every half hour during the summer months, every hour during the winter months, and every two hours when the cemetery is closed to the public.

Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery directly across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., was established during the Civil War on the grounds of the Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington. By 1864, the military cemeteries of Washington and Alexandria were filled with Union dead. After Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs quickly selected Arlington as a replacement, in part to prevent the Lee’s from ever returning, the government confiscated the land claiming unpaid property taxes. Today, more than 300,000 people, including veterans and military casualties from every one of the nation’s wars, are interred in the 624-acre cemetery administered by the Department of the Navy.

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns

Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknowns
Virginia Western
Image by wallyg
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, was completed and opened to the public on April 9, 1932 without any ceremony in the plaza of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, Congress authorized that four unknowns be exhumed from World War I cemeteries in France and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1921. Initially known the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it has become known by its more generic moniker when other unknown serviceman were later entombed, but was never officially named.

The tomb’s design was selected in a competition won by architect Lorimer Rich. The sarcophagus, made of white Yule marble quarried in Colorado, has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classical pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. Inscribed on the western panel of the Tomb are the words: "Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known But to God." Six wreaths, representing the six major battles of World War I, are carved into the north and south of the tomb. White marble slabs, flush with the plaza, mark the crypts of the unknowns from World War II, interred on May 30, 1958, the Korean War, interred on May 30, 1958, and the Vietnam War, interred on May 28, 1984. The remains of the Vietnam unknown, later identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie, were disinterred on May 14, 1998 and the crypt remains empty.

The Tomb of the Unknowns has perpetually guarded by the U.S. Army, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Since July 2, 1937, this has been the responsibility of The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Guards are changed every half hour during the summer months, every hour during the winter months, and every two hours when the cemetery is closed to the public.

Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery directly across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., was established during the Civil War on the grounds of the Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington. By 1864, the military cemeteries of Washington and Alexandria were filled with Union dead. After Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs quickly selected Arlington as a replacement, in part to prevent the Lee’s from ever returning, the government confiscated the land claiming unpaid property taxes. Today, more than 300,000 people, including veterans and military casualties from every one of the nation’s wars, are interred in the 624-acre cemetery administered by the Department of the Navy.