Rushville Republican

November 21, 2012

Research Literary Club hears about Arlington National Cemetery

Pat Carrigan
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — The Milroy Research Literary Club met at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the home of Doris Richey. The meeting was opened by Pat Carrigan, secretary, in the absence of the president and vice president.  

A very interesting program on the Arlington National Cemetery was presented by Joan Lines. In 1864 the Arlington mansion and two hundred acres surrounding it were designated as a United States military Cemetery by Edwin Stanton, U.S. Secretary of War. The mansion was constructed by George Washington Parke Custis, adopted grandson of George Washington. Construction began in 1802 and was completed in 1818. More than 300,000 service members and their dependents are buried there and there are approximately 6,900 burials per year, averaging about 28 per day. It is the one military cemetery in the U.S. authorized to use horses as part of its ceremonial burials.  The Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a very moving experience and is witnessed by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

Joan attended the Arlington Cemetery burials of brother-in-law Rear Admiral Harlan Johnson and wife Dorothy and that of her brother, Commander Byron Shepple. Rear Admiral Johnson spent three and one half years as a prisoner of war and later was Commander of Guantanamo Naval Base in 1959. Members enjoyed seeing photographs of these family members.

Members answered roll call by either showing a memento or telling of a memorable experience.

The minutes were read by the secretary and the treasurer’s report was given by Carolyn Cleland.

Following collection of the Rainy Day Fund, the meeting closed with the Club Collect.

Delicious refreshments were served by the hostess.

Valerie Wilson will host the Dec. 11 meeting and will also give the program. Members will have a gift exchange at the conclusion of the meeting.