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Facts on Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Premieres Wednesday, February 5 at 8 p.m. on WETA TV 26

  • Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of over 400,000 men and women.
  • An average of 25 burials are performed each day.
  • Arlington National Cemetery covers 624 acres of land.
  • More than three million tourists pass through the cemetery each year.
  • There are about 8,500 trees at Arlington National Cemetery, in 300 different varieties.
  • Two state champion trees reside in the cemetery, signifying that they are the largest trees of their species in Virginia.
  • Every gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery has been photographed and documented, and can be located using the cemetery’s web-based application, ANC Explorer: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Map/ANCExplorer.aspx
  • The first military burial occurred at Arlington National Cemetery in 1864, for Private William Christman.
  • Those eligible to be buried at Arlington include active duty military and retired reservists, recipients of the military’s highest honors, and former POWs.
  • Each year for Memorial Day, a flag is placed by every tombstone, monument, and columbarium row in the cemetery. Volunteers continue this practice during the holiday season with wreaths instead of flags.
  • The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded 24/7 by the best, most qualified members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard. Formed in 1784, The Old Guard is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army.
  • U.S. Presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery include John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft.
  • The Kennedy gravesite is the final resting place not only of the former president, but also his wife Jackie Kennedy, his two brothers Robert and Edward Kennedy, as well as a memorial to his brother Joe Jr.
  • The son and grandson of Abraham Lincoln are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • There are almost 4,000 former slaves buried in Section 27, land that used to be known as Freedman’s Village, Arlington’s first free neighborhood.
  • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, is linked to two significant figures of American history: it was built by the step-grandson of George Washington, George Washington Parke Custis, and eventually passed on to General Robert E. Lee by marriage to Parke Custis’s daughter, Mary.

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