10 Facts about Arlington National Cemetery
1. Arlington National Cemetery is the only military cemetery that is authorized to use horses as a regular part of its ceremony.
2. There are approximately 16,000 ceremonies conducted annually at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
3. Flags are lowered to half staff thirty minutes before the first funeral and remain at half staff until thirty minutes after the last service.
4. Arlington National Cemetery averages 15 funerals per day, appproximately 3,000 annually. It is expected to reach capacity in the year 2020, when over 250,000 people will have been buried.
5. The president sends four wreaths to Arlington each year: on
6. There are twenty-five accepted symbols that can be placed on government stones. Most have a simple cross indicating Christian ,but there are symbols for other faiths, such as Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Methodist, Mormon, American Indian, and Atheist. The atheist symbol is an atom molecule.
7. Over the Memorial Day weekend, flags are placed on each grave in the cemetery. Troops from the Old Guard (3rd Infantry) have flags on all the graves by dawn and the flags remain on the gravesites until after the Memorial Day Service.
8. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy and U.S. Attornery General Robert F. Kennedy placed several items in the President's casket prior to burial. These include three letters, a pair of gold cuff links, a piece of scrimshaw engraved with the presidential seal, a silver rosary, and a PT-109 tie clasp.
9. The designation "U.S.C.T" (United States Colored Troops) on a stone indicates that individual served in a black regiment. There are 3,800 former slaves buried at Arlington, most of them in Section 27. Their stones have either "Civilian" or "Citizen" engraved on them.
10. George Washington Parke Custis, the original owner of the estate, is buried with his wife in Section 13.
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