Arlington Cemetery: A Nation's Story Carved In Stone
Foreword by Senator John McCain, Photographs by Lorraine Jacyno Dieterle, USCG
Cover image: Almost one-quarter million American flags are placed each Memorial Day weekend.
The stones of Arlington National Cemetery tell America’s story in endless rows of nearly identical marble headstones, climbing the gentle Virginia hills and standing in mute testimony to fallen heroes and heroines. Even at a distance, from the air or from the George Washington Parkway, the meaning of the headstones is clear: men and women died to create this country; other men and women tamped cannon, shouldered guns, or piloted jet fighters to secure liberty. Through all the wars, through generation after generation, we have known these warriors. Here, we meet them in row after row.
The brother who took up arms against brother, the slaves who fought masters---all are now resting here. A mother and a daughter, both nurses in the Spanish-American War, shared a life of nurture; now they share a tombstone. Soldiers of the Revolutionary War, sailors of the War of 1812, the Civil War’s U.S.C.T.---’Colored Troops’---the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II; presidents and poor men; the famous and the unknown; generals, admirals, and buck privates: all are honored here at Arlington, their individual stones joining others that recall battles and battalions and list those who died in service---on the Space Shuttle Challenger, on the USS Maine, at the Battle of the Bulge.
Each year millions of people visit Arlington. They watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They pay their respects at the eternal flame on John F. Kennedy’s grave. They meander among the stones of those who died in the War of 1812, the Civil War, Vietnam---all of America’s battles. They visit Arlington House and the Women In Military Service For America Memorial, where they learn about the thousands of women who have served the country since the Revolutionary War. They say good-bye to loved ones; they watch the elegant horses deliver a flag-draped coffin to its resting place. They listen to the rifle salutes. They study the headstones that spell out each chapter of our nation’s development and commemorate those who died in battle and those who, after their military service, continued to serve their country, as a Supreme Court justice, a celebrated civil rights activist, a quiet citizen, a good neighbor.
Arlington National Cemetery: A Nation’s Story Carved in Stone presents both a photographic memento of this national treasure and an introduction to all the place has to offer. From group monuments to individual headstones to sweeping landscapes, the intimacy and the vastness of Arlington are exquisitely expressed in 140 color photographs. It is a fitting tribute to the place where we can reflect on our past and treasure our present and gain a deeper understanding of the journey we are all taking together.
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