Arlington National Cemetery to honor milestone with event series

WASHINGTON — Arlington National Cemetery is coming up on a milestone anniversary with special events scheduled for next spring. The cemetery recently announced plans to commemorate its 150 years.

Beginning in May 2014, the cemetery will hold a series of events over five weeks of commemoration to mark the milestone. The theme — Arlington at 150: Honor the Tradition, Remember the Sacrifice, Explore the History.

The first event will be held May 13, 2014, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Army Private William Christman. He was the first solider to be buried at Arlington, on May 13, 1864.

Commemoration events then wrap up June 15 with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The June date was the day Arlington became an official national cemetery in 1864.

The commemorative events will include a series of lectures and special tours highlighting U.S. history as it was played out by military conflicts and by those buried at Arlington.

The cemetery was born out of necessity during the Civil War and it continues to be a national shrine. Arlington has interred servicemen from every war throughout U.S. history.

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