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Book - On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery
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Created at the end of the Civil War, Arlington National Cemetery has become a part of the landscape as fixed in the national imagination as the White House or the Capitol building. The mansion at Arlington's heart, and the rolling hills on which it sits, had been the family plantation of Robert E. Lee before he joined the Confederacy; strategic to the defense of Washington, Arlington became a Union encampment, a haven for freedmen, and a pauper's cemetery for soldiers dying in the nation's bloodiest conflict.
With the passage of time, new layers of meaning were added to Arlington, which would become our nation's most honored shrine. More than three hundred thousand rest in Arlington's 624 acres, representing every war the nation ever fought. Each tombstone tells a story, from the Tomb of the Unknowns, so carefully tended today, to the eternal flame at John F. Kennedy's grave to the final resting places of ordinary citizen-warriors sleeping among Arlington's rolling green hills. Their stories, and the cemetery's time-honored rituals—the horse-drawn caissons, the rifle salutes, the sounding of Taps—still speak to us all.
Publisher: Walker & Company
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Did you know?
Is it true a Sentinel must commit for two years to guard the Tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.
No, this is a false rumor. The average tour at the Tomb is about a 18 months. However, there is NO set time for service there. Sentinels live either in a barracks on Ft. Myer (the Army post located adjacent to the cemetery) or off base if they like. They do have a living quarters under the steps of the amphitheater where they stay during their 24 hour shifts. If they are of legal age, they may drink except while on duty.