On Hallowed Ground
On Hallowed Ground
The Story of Arlington National Cemetery
Brilliance Corporation, MP3 CD, 9781441868244
Publication Date: July 4, 2010
List Price: $24.99*
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On Hallowed Ground is the long and storied history of Arlington National Cemetery. Created during the turmoil of the Civil War, Arlington's story reflects much of America's own over the past century and a half. The mansion at its heart, and the rolling land on which it sits, was the family plantation of Robert E. Lee before he joined the Confederacy; strategic to the defense of Washington, it became a Union headquarters, a haven for freedmen, and a burial ground for indigent soldiers before Secretary of War Edwin Stanton made it the centerpiece in the newly established national cemetery system. It would become our nation's most honored resting place. No other country makes the effort the United States does to recover and pay tribute to its war dead an effort Poole reveals in poignant details from the aftermaths of the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the conflicts in the Gulf and Afghanistan today. Every tombstone at Arlington tells a story: from scientists and slaves to jurists and generals and tens of thousands of ordinary citizen-warriors, among the more than three hundred thousand interred on Arlington's 624 acres. Their sagas, and the rites and rituals that have evolved at Arlington the horse-drawn caissons, marble headstones, playing of Taps, and rifle salutes speak to us all. Exclusive Bonus Audio: New interviews, conducted by the author with a range of key players in the cemetery's history and day-to-day operations. Wayne Parks, the great grandson of a slave owned by the Robert E. Lee family who later became the first cemetery groundskeeper; Gunnery Sergeant William J. Dixon, a Marine and Iraq war veteran who oversees the quality control of Marine funerals at Arlington; and Linda Willey, chairperson of the Arlington Ladies Committee for the Air Force, who makes sure that there is a civilian present at every Air Force funeral. Also included is a rendition of "Taps" played by the Army's principal bugler.