AMBER R VINCENT

Last Tuskegee Airmen Pilot Laid to Rest

By AMBER R VINCENT on 6/22/2022

By: Kevin Hymel, ANC Contract Historian

For a somber event, the funeral for Colonel Charles McGee, the last Tuskegee Airmen pilot, was surprisingly joyous. The Air Force band set the mood by playing “Ode to Joy” as they followed the caisson to the burial location in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Richard S. Beyea III kept up the theme by declaring to the gathered mourners, “We are celebrating an incredible life.” McGee had lived 102 years before passing away on January 16, 2022. He had been promoted to brigadier general after his retirement.

From Tomb100 to Flowers of Remembrance

By AMBER R VINCENT on 5/31/2022

By: Kevin Hymel, ANC Contract Historian

Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb sentinels, members of 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, will play a key role in the upcoming Flowers of Remembrance Day on May 28, when the public can lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And the sentinels are ready. They already helped the public lay flowers for two days in early November 2021 for the Tomb Centennial.

Flags In 2022

By AMBER R VINCENT on 5/28/2022

By: Kevin Hymel, ANC Contract Historian

In the pre-dawn darkness of Thursday, May 26, uniformed members of the military spread out among the headstones of Arlington National Cemetery, their rucksacks filled with American flags. Quietly, they placed a boot against a headstone and pushed a flag into the ground at their heel. Then they moved onto the next headstone and repeated the process until a flag stood at the base of every headstone. The event, known as Flags-In had been a Memorial Day tradition since 1948.

Flowers of Remembrance Day: Inaugurating a New Tradition at Arlington National Cemetery

By AMBER R VINCENT on 5/20/2022

On Saturday May 28, 2022, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) will be inaugurating a new tradition: Flowers of Remembrance Day. During this ceremony, the public will be afforded the rare opportunity to walk on the plaza in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and place a flower there to memorialize our nation’s military dead. In conceptualizing the idea for this ceremony, ANC drew from several historical precedents and the events of the recent Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration to create a new, modern tradition for Memorial Day weekend. Since the cemetery’s early years, honoring the war dead with flowers has been a consistent ritual at ANC. This new iteration through Flowers of Remembrance Day forms yet another step in the evolution of this tradition. To help the public understand this ceremony’s intent and symbolism, this blog article explains the rich historical context surrounding this new event and situates it within the 158-year legacy of mili ...