On Hallowed Ground: The History of Arlington National Cemetery

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Robert Poole, author of On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery.

In the following video, Mr. Poole discusses his experience as a researcher at the National Archives and several Presidential Libraries, as well as the very first burial at Arlington National Cemetery.


What do you think is the most interesting story of Arlington National Cemetery?

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One Response to On Hallowed Ground: The History of Arlington National Cemetery

  1. Larry Medina says:

    Sadly, I think the most interesting story on Arlington Cemetery is the one currently unfolding- the inaccurate records related to the placement of the persons interred there. This is obviously troubling for their family members, but its yet another case of the poor record keeping practices in the Federal Government.

    Having spent time working with cemeteries in the past, I know the archaic registers, logs and plot map systems seem to be a pain to maintain, but they were highly accurate. Row, Column, Plot, Name of Deceased, Dates, Next of Kin, etc… not too much else involved, except an elaborate system of cross references that resulted in anyone walking in to the office 3 or 4 generations removed from the deceased always being able to locate their plot.

    I realize the immensity of Arlington and I’ve heard they changed configurations at one (or more) points resulting in their having multiple grid systems… but how hard can it be? You have a finite number of plots, they get blacked out when assigned and ‘occupied’, a corresponding entry is made in the register, and that’s the last time anything is ever recorded about that plot.

    I certainly hope this mystery gets cleared up soon, and at least on a day forward basis nothing of this type EVER happens again… but something HAS TO BE DONE to clear up the confusion about the legacy graves. The people interred in Arlington are too precious to not only their families, but to ALL OF US as citizens of the United States… these are people who made the ultimate sacrifice to see that we could remain free.


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