With the construction of the Millennium Project and the Navy Annex expansion, burials at Arlington National Cemetery and inurnments will be available to veterans and service members for the next half century.
Just four decades ago, the need for additional hallowed ground was of paramount importance as aging World War I and World War II veterans passed away and the Vietnam War fallen were brought home from Southeast Asia.
From 1968 to 1975, Arlington National Cemetery, or ANC, incrementally took over Fort Myer’s South Post, an area which encompassed land from Memorial Drive to today’s ANC maintenance buildings. A parcel of land that once belonged to South Post is now Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60 – eternal home to many service members and veterans who perished at the Pentagon during the 9/11 attack and in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The first military burial at Arlington took place May 13, 1864, and the original cemetery grounds held close to just 200 acres. Each weekday, an average of 25 to 30 funerals originate from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Old Post Chapel and Memorial Chapel as well as ANC’s administrative building.
The 624-acre cemetery, which contains nearly six dozen sections, is observing its 150th anniversary this year.