Arlington National Cemetery, General Bennett Henderson Young, General Joseph Wheeler

June 4th, 1914 – President Thomas Woodrow Wilson Speaks At The Dedication Of The Arlington National Cemetery‘s Confederate Monument

Photograph of President Thomas Woodrow Wilson at the Confederate monument unveiling at the Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1900, the United States Congress passed a law permitting the reinterment of 250 Confederates, who were already buried in an Arlington cemetery and other Confederate veterans from the National Soldiers Home National Cemetery, which is currently called the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, to be buried in a section of the Arlington National Cemetery.

Photograph of Confederate and Spanish-American War veteran General Joseph Wheeler.

This act was passed as an act of reconciliation, decades after the end of the Civil War, after many former Confederates, such as General Joseph Wheeler offered their service to the nation during the course of the Spanish-American War.

Photograph of sculptor and Confederate veteran Moses Jacob Ezekiel.

In the 1900s, the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the first Jewish cadet at the Virginia Military Institute whom faught at the Battle of New Market, to create a memorial to Confederate soldiers and sailors to be erected at the Arlington National Cemetery.

General Bennett Henderson Young at the Confederate monument unveiling at the Arlington National Cemetery.

On June 14th, 1914, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who was a child during the course of the Civil War, spoke at a dedication to Confederate Soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery. President Wilson accepted the Confederate monument, on behalf of the United States, and stated, “I am not so much happy as proud to participate in this capacity on such an occasion; proud that I should represent such a people”. Confederate veteran Bennett Henderson Young, who entered Vermont from Canada on October 19th, 1864 to conduct a raid on the town of Saint Albans with 17 other Confederates, and other Confederate veterans also spoke at the dedication with President Wilson.

Arlington County, Virginia, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy

My Veterans Day 2020 Visit To The Arlington National Cemetery

Photograph of members of the 353rd Infantry, near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, as they wait for the end of hostilities with the axis forces. This photograph was taken at 10:58 A.M. on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I was enforced.

On May 13, 1938, Veterans Day was established by an act of the United States Congress to honor the veterans of World War I, also known as, “The Great War”. The official end of the First World War was on June 28, 1919, but the Veterans Day holiday honors the date of the armistice which began on November 11, 1918.

At the end of my tour of the Arlington National Cemetery, I got to see the burial site of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and of U.S. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy.

The grave of former Senator Robert Francis Kennedy.
Arlington National Cemetery, General Robert Edward Lee, Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Russell, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President William Howard Taft

The Arlington National Cemetery

Graves in front of the Custis Lee home, the former home of Confederate General Robert Edward Lee.

The Arlington National Cemetery began when the Union Army decided to bury their war dead on the property of Confederate General Robert Edward Lee, while his home was occupied by the Union Army.

Burial site of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his wife Jackie Kennedy.

Two former U.S. Presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and William Howard Taft are buried in the Arlington Cemetery.

Author’s Note:

Philip Andrew Hamilton’s Great Uncle William Henry Russell, who served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Gravemarker for William Henry Russell and his wife Lillian Russell (maternal name Lillian Newkirk).