Friday, May 27, 2016

Heather's Honor Roll Project (Memorial Day 2016) -- Arlington County, Virginia



Perhaps the best known and iconic memorial to those who died in America's conflicts and wars, or who served honorably in the country's military, is Arlington National Cemetery.  The cemetery is located in Arlington County, Virginia on the west side of the Potomac River across from Washington, DC.  "Arlington"consists of about 624 acres and, as many people know, the site is the location of Arlington House, the former estate of Robert E. Lee's family.  Lee's wife was Mary Anna Custis, the great granddaughter of Martha Washington.

When the Virginia militia occupied Arlington County and Arlington House in May 1861 after the secession of Virginia from the Union, General Winfield Scott ordered Arlington and the city of Alexandria to be rid of any and all troops not loyal to the United States and on May 24, 1861 Brigadier General Irvin McDowell succeeded in occupying Arlington with little or no opposition. By May 1864 Union forces had suffered so many casualties that the burial places used until then (the United States Soldiers Cemetery in D.C. and Alexandria Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia ) were almost full. General Meigs, the Army Quartermaster, ordered that a search for eligible ground be made to establish a national cemetery. For political reasons, and because the site of Arlington House and its surrounding estates were on high ground outside the threat of floods from the Potomac with a lovely view of the national capital, the estate of Robert E. Lee's family became a new national cemetery.  The first military burial there took place on May 13, 1864 (William H. Christman) and although Arlington was not desegregated for burial purposes until an Executive Order by President Truman in 1948, the first African-American buried in Arlington was William H. Johnson, who worked for President Lincoln.  Lincoln asked that Johnson's tombstone be engraved with his name and the simple word "Citizen." [1]


Union Soldiers outside Arlington House (June 28, 1864)


Arlington House and Section 32 of Arlington National Cemetery (November 6, 2005)

Among the memorials within the Arlington National Cemetery are: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (represented by unknown remains of soldiers from WW I, WW II, and the Korean War -- the Vietnam War representative was later identified and eventually reinterred near his St. Louis home so it was decided that the Vietnam crypt will remain empty); the U.S. Maine Mast Memorial; the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial; the Women in Military Service for America Memorial; and others including the eternal flame at the resting place of President Kennedy.

With all the history, fame and recognition given to Arlington National Cemetery, it is perhaps somewhat understandable that the local memorial in Arlington County is little known and often forgotten. 

Arlington County is located directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and is the land that was once donated by the Commonwealth of Virginia to form part of the new federal capital district.  The U.S. Congress made the area a subdivision of the District of Columbia and named it Alexandria County in 1801. In 1846, however, the area donated by Virginia was returned to the state and in 1920 the Virginia General Assembly renamed the area "Arlington County" to avoid confusion with the City of Alexandria, which lay adjacent to the returned area. The County is about 26 square miles in size and had a population of 229,302 in 2014. It is said that Arlington County is the smallest self-governing county in the country and there are no incorporated towns within its borders due to state law regarding population density.  It is this population density and the rapid growth and urbanization of the county in the last few decades that probably accounts for the near anonymity of the local war memorial in Arlington County today.

The Arlington County war memorial is located in what is now a very built-up, bustling area at the confluence of the major thoroughfares known as Washington Boulevard, Fairfax Drive, and Wilson Boulevard.



Arlington County War Memorial east side (May 27, 2016)

The Arlington County stone war monument is pictured above. It was dedicated November 11, 1931 by the American Legion, but it was not dedicated at its present location. Originally, the monument sat adjacent to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a part of Arlington National Cemetery close to the Potomac River and overlooking Washington, DC. The monument apparently was moved several times before settling in at the Clarendon area of Arlington.  It was located at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Highland Street, then at Clarendon Circle, then at Courthouse, and finally back to its home at the pinnacle of a traffic island in Clarendon today.

                                                                                                                                  Photo by John D. Tew (May 27, 2016)

                                                                                                                                  Photo by John D. Tew (May 27, 2016)

The memorial today is a four-sided, stone monument with three cannon . . .  two flanking the original plaque side and one centered on the rear side of the monument.  It is crowned by a plain concrete globe with an eagle astride.

                                                                                                                                 Photo by John D. Tew (May 27, 2016)

The front (east side) of the monument -- shown immediately above -- has steps and displays the panel commemorating the men from Arlington who died in the wars in Korea and Vietnam.  It also contains the plaque explaining that the stone in the monument was removed from the area of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and was erected by Arlington Post 139/Auxiliary Unit 139 of the American Legion and the citizens of Arlington County.


The south side of the monument contains the commemorative panel for Arlington men lost in World War II with surnames from MacDonald through Zachman and it is pictured below.

                                                              Photo by John D. Tew (May 27, 2016)

The rear (west side) of the monument -- shown below -- displays the original World War I commemorative plaque dedicated by the American Legion in 1931.  This side contains the names of those Arlington citizens lost in the Great War (1917 - 1918) as well as a panel commemorating those from Arlington County, VA who sacrificed their lives in the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

                                                                Photo by John D. Tew (May 27, 2016)

And the north side of the monument displays the commemorative panel dedicated to those citizens of Arlington who sacrificed their lives in World War II with surnames Able through Lyons.

                                                                                                                                   Photo by John D. Tew (May 27, 2016)

Panel Transcriptions for This Monument

Those  Arlington County, Virginia citizens that sacrificed their lives in the conflict in AFGHANISTAN:


Niall Coti-Sears                 USMC
Adam M. Kuligowski      USA
James J. Walton               USA

Those  Arlington County, Virginia citizens that sacrificed their lives in the conflict in IRAQ:

Joel E. Baldwin             USN
Michael P. Cassidy        USA
Sean P. O'Connor          USA

Arlington casualties incurred by United States military personnel in connection with the conflict in KOREA:

          Ramon C. Bearse, Jr.     USA                                     Arnold Meier              USA
          Dewitt Betz                    USA                                    James E. Moore           USA
          Jack Branhan                  USA                                   Donald F. Moriarty       USA
          Harry B. Breeden           USA                                   Kenneth D. Nadeau       USA         
          James C. Caldwell          USA                                  Howard W. Ogden         USA
          John L. Chamberlain      USA                                  Carlo J. Ortenzi              USA
          Burt N. Coers                  USA                                  Denny P. Phillips            USA
          Henry L. Dove                USA                                  Ervin S. Sholes               USA
          Robert D. Ebert               USA                                 David W. Shute               USA 
          Clarence Halliday            USA                                Henry J. Skinger              USA
          Lawrence Harris              USA                                Gerrard L.D. Smith          USA
          Irvin L. Jackson               USA                                Daniel D. Tompkins         USA
          Emmett N. Long              USAF                             Wilbur Van Bremen          USA
          John R. Lovell                 USAF                              Lucius P. Walton              USAF
          Frank R. Loyd, Jr.            USA                                David C. Wently               USA
          James Martin                   USA                                Frederick W. Winter          USA
          Raymond D. McAfee      USA                                Wilbur H. Youngman, Jr.   USMC
          Richard McCullough      USA 

Arlington casualties incurred by United States military personnel in connection with the conflict in VIETNAM:

          Peter J. Angle                  USA                                 Raymond P. Jones             USMC
          Leroy P. Bohrer               USAF                               Robert H.O. Jones             USAF
          Paul M. Bowlin               USMC                              Robert L. Kellas                USA
          Roger G. Bove                 USN                                 Stephen A. Kramer           USA
          Perry N. Browning           USA                                Nicholas Krimont               USA
          George W. Byrd               USMC                             Gary W. Larson                  USA
          Keith A. Campbell           USA                                 Charles Lattimore, Jr.        USA
          Andrew T. Castelda          USA                                 Gerald S. Lotridge             USA
          Terry W. Cressel               USA                                 Hugh R. McKibbin, Jr.      USA
          George N. Deverall           USA                                Thomas T. McLarson         USMC
          William A. Fought            USA                                John E. Miller                     USA
          Michael F. Field                USA                                John A. Nixon                     USMC
          Thomas R. Fleming           USMC                            Robert E. Pascoe                 USAF
          John H. Fulcher                 USMC                            Joseph J. Remeikas, Jr.        USA
          James M. Ginn                   USA                               Paul W. Risinger                  USA
          John L. Grimes                   USA                              William S. Slaughter            USA
          Blucher R. Hall                   USMC                           Rodney H. Smith                 USA
          Ed. C. Hammerbeck            USMC                           Leonard H. Snead, Jr.          USA
          Daniel W. Harrison              USA                              Gregory H. Stancil              USMC
          Thomas J. Hayes, IV           USA                              John T. Sticher                     USA
          Jeffrey K. Hoagland            USMC                          Lee G. Tolley                        USA
          Roger D. Hollifield              USA                             Robert E. Tully                     USMC
          James G. Hood                     USA                            David Webster                      USMC
          Harley M. Howard                USA                           Mark A. Whikehart               USA
          Robert E. Hoy                       USA                           David M. Williams                USA
          James D. Hunter                    USA                          David T. Williamson              USA

The panel to the memory of those from Arlington who served in the World War (1917 - 1918) and those who gave their lives -- WORLD WAR I:

John Lyon     U.S.A.
Henry G. Smallwood     U.S.A.
Robert G. Bruce     U.S.A.
Harry R. Stone     U.S.A.
Irving Thomas Chapman Newman     U.S.A. AVIATION
Harry E. Vermillion     U.S.A.
Edward J. Smith     FIELD ARTILLERY
Archie Walters Williams     U.S.N.
Frederick Wallis Schutt     U.S.N.
Frank Dunkin     U.S.A.
Oscar L. Housel     U.S.A.  ENG.

Arthur Morgan     (COLORED)   U.S.A [2]
Ralph Lowe     (COLORED)   U.S.A. [2]

Yet to be transcribed are the two extensive panels listing those who sacrificed their lives for their country in World War II from Arlington County, Virginia.  The aim is to have those panels transcribed by Veterans Day 2016.
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[1]  The U.S. Government formally acquired Arlington at a tax sale in 1864 for $26,800.  Mrs. Lee tried to pay the property taxes through an agent, but the government turned away the tendered payment.  In 1874, Lee's grandson sued the U.S. and in 1882 the U.S. Supreme Court found in his favor ruling that the estate had been confiscated without due process. Congress returned the estate to Custis Lee in March 1883 and Lee then sold it back to the U.S. for $150,000 (equal to about $3.2 million in 2016 dollars).  See, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_National_Cemetery

[2]  The designation of the term "colored" with respect to Arthur Morgan and Ralph Lowe has been a matter of some controversy over the years, but the final decision appears to be to keep the plaque as it was originally created. It has never been changed.

Memorial Day image from http://holidaysday.com/04/memorial_day_dates_traditional_observance

All Memorial photographs by John D. Tew exceptUnion Soldiers at Arlington House by unknown photographer, but whose work is in the public domain as a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of the person's official duties https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:East_front_of_Arlington_Mansion_(General_Lee%27s_home),_with_Union_soldiers_on_the_lawn,_06-28-1864_-_NARA_-_533118.jpg; and Arlington House with Section 32 of Arlington National Cemetery by photographer "Protoant" who has released the photo of his work into the public domain to "use for any purpose, without and conditions, unless such conditions are required by law."https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arlington_House.jpg

Honor Roll name transcriptions by John D. Tew.
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Copyright 2016, John D. Tew
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