Sunday, January 25, 2009

In Honored Glory-Arlington Cemetery

There are few places on the earth as moving as Arlington National Cemetery. I was lucky enough to visit there last March and hope to return again soon. There's just too much to do in a day. That being said a good place to start learning about the cemetery is Philip Bigler's wonderful little book In Honored Glory Arlington National Cemetery The Final Post.

In a quickly read 151 pages Bigler gives us a brief overview of Arlington. He touches on its history. For instance how many average Americans know Arlington House was the home of Robert E. Lee? The history of how this wonderful land became a cemetery is covered as are many of the major burial locations. From the space shuttle memorials to the Kennedy brothers, to the failed Iran hostage rescue, to the tomb of the unknowns (from which the book takes its title), to the current war on terror Bigler quickly covers it. The book contains many b/w photos, a listing of famous burials and locations, a trascription of the John F. Kennedy gravesite inscription, eligibility requirements, a listing of headstone symbols, a bibliography, and index.

While I give this book a very high recommendation I must admit it left me wanting more. The book however is only meant as an overview or introduction and in that regard it succeeds on all levels.

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