Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is considered America’s most hallowed ground and a sacred shrine to service and sacrifice. More than 400,000 people are laid to rest at ANC including former presidents, astronauts, civil rights activists, medical professionals, and prominent military figures.
ANC recently launched an education program for students, families, and lifelong learners. The program aims to honor the sacrifices and extraordinary lives of American service members and their families, support remembrance of the past and present military conflicts and circumstances surrounding them, and invite personal exploration of connections to America’s diverse history. As the school year draws to a close, this program provides a great summer learning opportunity to explore and discover U.S. history through the unique lens of ANC.
The ANC education program highlights four educational themes:
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is ANC’s most iconic memorial. For nearly 100 years, it has stood at the heart of the cemetery, serving as a site for reflection on service, valor, and sacrifice. The Tomb sarcophagus stands above the grave of an Unknown Soldier from World War I, buried when the Tomb was dedicated on November 11, 1921. Two additional crypts, for Unknowns from World War II and the Korean War, were added in 1958. The Unknowns represent all unidentified service members who gave their lives for the United States.
African American History at Arlington National Cemetery
A microcosm of the nation’s history, the history of the Arlington property encompasses slavery, emancipation, segregation, and civil rights. At the cemetery, gravesites and memorials honor the dedication and sacrifice of African American service members who served their country and fought for racial justice.
Whether you are planning to visit the cemetery or are exploring it from home, download guides to understand more about the history, traditions and operations of ANC. The guides include:
- Appropriate Behavior at Arlington National Cemetery
- A Short History of the Arlington Property
- Differences in Grave Markers
- Elements of Military Funerals
- Horticulture and the Grounds at Arlington National Cemetery
Famously described as a “splendid
little war,” the Spanish-American War lasted for only four months in 1898.
Despite its brevity, it had a tremendous historical impact. The United States
acquired overseas territories, established itself as the dominant nation in the
Western Hemisphere and began a new era as a major world power.
ANC contains more Spanish-American War monuments and burial sites than any other location in the continental United States. Use the materials in this module to explore the legacy of this war and the experiences of individuals who served — as soldiers, sailors or military nurses.
For more information about ANC’s education program and to access their materials, visit education.arlingtoncemetery.mil.