Question of the Week: Is there a national cemetery that’s especially important to you?

Today is Memorial Day, and we’ve been posting quite a bit over the last few days about national cemeteries. Is there a national cemetery you found especially impactful or that has particular significance to you?

14 Responses to Question of the Week: Is there a national cemetery that’s especially important to you?

  1. Northwoods National Cemetery, Harshaw, Wis. VA: “Northwoods National Cemetery is the fourth Rural Initiative cemetery to be built by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration. The VA purchased the land in September 2015 and awarded a contract to build the cemetery in August 2017. The cemetery was dedicated in August 2020.”

  2. Hampton National Cemetery. Many of the USCTs who were wounded at the Battle of New Market Heights received transportation via boat to hospitals at Fort Monroe and Portsmouth, Virginia. As many those men died from their wounds they were eventually interred at Hampton National Cemetery. Among those who rest there are two New Market Heights Medal of Honor recipients: Charles Veal and Alfred Hilton.

  3. I have been to many national cemeteries on Memorial Day. I think each of them, including the newer ones, are very meaningful and important to the fabric of our nation. I would highly encourage historically inclined travelers to spend time at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, which is among the oldest of all national cemeteries and includes very many moving memorials including mass graves from wars as recent as Vietnam. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, San Francisco National Cemetery on the grounds of the Presidio, Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego and Ft. Snelling in Minneapolis should be on the list. For Civil War cemeteries, all of them are beautiful and important. Chattanooga, Knoxville, Marietta, Wilmington, Florence stand out in my mind. And don’t forget the many state, territory and tribal veterans cemeteries around the country.

  4. Arlington, if only for the incredible number of historically significant, and mistakenly deemed insignificant, individuals buried there. I was there a few years ago for a Connecticut friend who does long, fund raising walks for Veteran Mental Health. He wanted a picture of the grave of one of the vets he knew who had recently died. What he didn’t know was that right next to his grave was that of a lady vet whom he had known as well. Very honored to bring him these photos.
    I also love the beauty of the positioning of the Custis-Lee Mansion, overlooking the City.

  5. Without a doubt, Arlington National Cemetery in DC. A few years ago we had the distinct honor and privilege to witness the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. What an inspiring and incredible ceremony. Not only the precision and cadence of the Honor Guard was memorable but also the respectful silence of the large crowd that had gathered to witness the ceremony. A close second is Colleville Sur Mer in Normandy.

  6. When I give tours at Chattanooga, I enjoy taking my party to the Chattanooga National Cemetery so they can visit the grave of Desmond Doss or stop by the graves of those who participated in The Great Locomotive Chase. However, that cemetery is especially significant to me because one other stop I make is to salute my father, who is buried there!

  7. Arlington. Although the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, with its rows of stones marked “unknown” is very moving.

  8. I visited this past year the cemetery in Epinal, France. My father’s youngest brother is buried there, killed in Germany in 1944. Extremely moving experience.

  9. I’ve had many peaceful and meaningful strolls through the lovely Gettysburg National Cemetery, so that’d be my first choice. Even with the trucks rolling up and down Baltimore St., one can find real moments of Zen in that beautiful space. Obviously, it’s a true part of the battlefield as well. Just a special place to honor the soldiers and reflect on the human cost of that horrible conflict.

  10. Being a Navy town, one would think that the National Cemetery established 1862 and sited just west of the U.S. Naval Academy would be the final resting place for sailor veterans of the Civil War… but such is not the case. Most of the interments are of Army veterans; and a large percentage of these were inmates of Edwin Stanton’s failed experiment: the Parole Camp, a place of confinement for Union soldiers captured by the Confederacy, subsequently released on parole but awaiting exchange. Those Union soldiers caught up in the surrenders at Harpers Ferry, Chancellorsville and Shiloh were incarcerated at Annapolis Parole Camp; and those who did not survive the experience were buried in what became known as Annapolis National Cemetery.

  11. The small National Cemetery at Ball’s Bluff. There is some connection to Oliver Wendell Holmes which I can’t quite remember at present.

  12. Two favorites … Hampton National Cemetery … my civil war vet great-great grandfather is buried there after spending his final years at the old soldiers home, now the Hampton VA Hospital … and Arlington National Cemetery where many friends and my wife and her parents rest.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!