What is Memorial Day At Arlington National Cemetery? Memorial Day is a day to honor those who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces of the United States. Each year, the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Amphitheater hosts two important services—one on Memorial Day and the other on Veterans Day. Judge Ivory Kimball served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was a current member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a club of veterans.
He campaigned for the building of an amphitheater with about 5,000 seats in 1903. The statute was enacted by President Taft, and construction began in 1915. Kimball took part in the ceremonies for laying the cornerstone and the foundation stone, but he did not live to see the amphitheater completed.
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History Of Memorial Day At Arlington National Cemetery:
The fifth Decoration Day celebration took place in 1873 at the old amphitheater on the cemetery grounds, today known as the James Tanner Amphitheater. It was far too small to hold the sizable throngs that had gathered to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers. General John Logan, the Grand Army of the Republic’s Commander-in-Chief, instituted the inaugural Decoration Day in 1868. He set aside May 30 as a day to place flowers on Civil War soldiers’ graves. Because no notable war or event occurred on May 30th, that date was chosen. On that first Decoration Day, President Garfield spoke at Arlington.
Memorial Day gradually replaced Decoration Day as its name. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federally recognized holiday. Today, it occurs on the final Monday in May. The Thursday before Memorial Day, members of the Old Guard place miniature American flags on graves at Arlington National Cemetery. Old Guard service members place flags in front of over 280,000 headstones and the bottom of 7,000 niche row (for cremated remains) rows in about four hours. Since 1948, there has been a tradition like this.
Memorial Day At Arlington National Cemetery Significance:
The United States Marine Corps band performs a prelude during the Memorial Day Observance Ceremony at Arlington. There is also a full honor wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Typically, the event, which is free and open to the public, is attended by the President of the United States.
How to Celebrate Memorial Day At Arlington National Cemetery?
The Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery hosts two significant annual remembering events on Memorial Day (the final Monday in May) and Veterans Day (November 11). Each of these national celebrations, which U.S organize. Army Military District of Washington, draws around 5,000 spectators. At the Memorial Day ceremony, the president of the United States often gives a speech.
At the cemetery, a number of military and governmental groups also have yearly funerals. Public attendance is free and available for all ceremonies and special events.
The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (the “Old Guard”) celebrates America’s fallen heroes by erecting American flags at the graves of servicemen and women interred in Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just before Memorial Day weekend.
Since the Old Guard was chosen as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948, this annual custom known as “Flags In” has been practiced. Small American flags get a place in front of more than 228,000 headstones and at the bottom of over 7,000 niche rows in the cemetery’s Columbarium Courts and Niche Wall by every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. Each flag takes place exactly one boot length from the base of the monument.
Placing of wreaths
Flowers are traditionally left at grave sites as a ceremony that represents the beauty and fleeting nature of life. Every day in Arlington National Cemetery, floral tributes are left at funeral services, public ceremonies, and private visits to a loved one’s grave.
The placing of a wreath is a common part of official ceremonies at Arlington. Usually, ceremonial units from the uniformed forces participate in these rituals. These are held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. During your visit, you might have the chance to see such a ceremony. In fact, you might engage in one.
Memorial Day At Arlington National Cemetery Quotes, Messages
Each of the patriots whom we remember on this day was first a beloved son or daughter, a brother or sister, or a spouse, friend, and neighbor. — George H.W. Bush, 1992
They, and we, are the legacies of an unbroken chain of proud men and women who served their country with honor, who waged war so that we might know peace, who braved hardship so that we might know opportunity, who paid the ultimate price so that we might know freedom. — Barack Obama, 2009
Valley Forge has come indeed to be a symbol in American life. It is more than the name for a place, more than the scene of a military episode, more than just a critical event in history. Freedom was won here by fortitude not by the flash of the sword. — Herbert Hoover, 1931
This Memorial Day should remind us of the greatness that past generations of Americans achieved from Valley Forge to Vietnam, and it should inspire us with the determination to keep America great and free by keeping America safe and strong in our own time, a time of unique destiny and opportunity for our Nation. — Richard Nixon, 1974
Looking across this field, we see the scale of heroism and sacrifice. All who are buried here understood their duty. All stood to protect America. And all carried with them memories of a family that they hoped to keep safe by their sacrifice. — George W. Bush, 2005
Peace is the real and right memorial for those who have died in war. — Richard Nixon, 1974
Their sacrifice was great, but not in vain. All Americans and every free nation on earth can trace their liberty to the white markers of places like Arlington National Cemetery. And may God keep us ever grateful. — George W. Bush, 2003
They do not need our praise. They do not need that our admiration should sustain them. There is no immortality that is safer than theirs. We come not for their sakes but for our own, in order that we may drink at the same springs of inspiration from which they themselves drank. — Woodrow Wilson, 1914
It was the transcendent fortitude and steadfastness of these men who in adversity and in suffering through the darkest hour of our history held faithful to an ideal. Here men endured that a nation might live. — Herbert Hoover, 1931
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. — John F. Kennedy, 1961 (Inaugural address)
The placing of a wreath is a common part of official ceremonies at Arlington. Usually, ceremonial units from the uniformed forces participate in these rituals, which are held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. During your visit, you might have the chance to see such a ceremony. In fact, you might already be engaged in one.
The most somber ceremonies take place when the US president, or the president’s designee, places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to commemorate a national holiday like Memorial Day or Veterans Day. Wreaths are laid ceremoniously before the Tomb of the Unknowns during official visits by foreign dignitaries as a way for them to express their respect for the sacrifices made by American veterans.