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THE NATION HONORS ITS DEAD
Deeply implanted in the hearts of Americans is a profound respect and reverence for those who have given their lives in the nation's cause. The emotion finds material expression in the beautiful national cemeteries and war memorials scattered over the United States, its outlying possessions, Europe, Africa, the Pacific islands, and the Far East. The Federal agencies having primary responsibilities in this field are the Quartermaster General of the Army and the American Battle Monuments Commission.
BURIAL OF OUR WAR DEAD
Only within the past century has any government been willing or able to
the task of identifying, and burying in registered graves, the bodies of men dying in war. The evolution of the present system may be traced in our successive wars.
MEXICAN WAR. After the war, in 1850, Congress appropriated money for a cemetery at Mexico City "for such officers and soldiers of the United States Army .. as fell in battle or died in and around the said city ..." The remains of 750 American dead eventually exhumed from the places of their temporary burial and reinterred. Not one could be identified. However, the action created a precedent for establishing permanent military cemeteries.
CIVIL WAR. In September of 1861 the Quartermaster General was directed to supply all general and post hospitals with blank books and forms for keeping mortuary records, and to provide materials for registered headboards for soldiers' graves. In 1862 Congress took action to buy land for national military cemeteries. Many of the burial sites of major battles were converted into such national cemeteries; for example, at Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg. Commanding generals were made responsible for establishing burial grounds
near battlefields, registered headboards to be placed over the graves bearing the names of the deceased, if practicable. A crude form of identification tag came into use in the winter campaign of 1863 south of the Rapidan River in Virginia.
The program of collecting the war dead and reinterring them in national cemeteries was initiated soon after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, under the supervision of the Quartermaster General. His annual report for 1870 indicated that the project was virtually completed. At that time there were 73 national cemeteries, containing the remains of 299,696 Union soldiers. The total burials in these, and in private plots and post cemeteries plus bodies scheduled for reinterment, were 315,555. Of these 172,109 or 58% were positively identified; the remaining 143,446 could not be identified.
SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR. On the basis of enabling legislation and by direction of President McKinley, the Secretary of War took steps in August 1899 to provide for the marking of all military graves in Cuba. In February 1899 a Quartermaster Burial Corps composed of civilian morticians and assistants began the disinterment of remains in Cuba and Puerto Rico for shipment to the United States. On 27 April 1899 an Army transport docked at New York with 747 casketed remains. In all, 1,222 bodies were returned by 30 June 1899. Less than 14 percent were identified.
WORLD WAR I. Wartime graves registration and burial services during the 19th century had been performed largely by civilian contractors. This proved to be unsatisfactory for several reasons. Following our entrance into World War I, a Graves Registration Service was organized on 7 August 1917 under the Quartermaster General. In September of the same
year Headquarters, Graves Registration Service, QMC, was established at Tours, France, with the following assigned functions: (1) deployment of units and groups along the entire line of battle, so that they might begin identifying bodies and marking graves immediately upon the beginning of hostilities in any given sector; (2) location, acquisition, and maintenance of all semipermanent and permanent military cemeteries required for American use; (3) registry of burials; (4) furtherance of the work of identification during the concentration of remains from battlefield burials to permanent cemeteries; (5) correspondence with relatives and friends of deceased soldiers, together with photography and surveys of cemeteries and graves; (6) liaison between the Government of the United States and foreign governments concerned with mortuary affairs in the theaters of operations.
The next of kin of deceased personnel were advised that unless they specifically indicated their desire to have the remains returned to the United States for final burial, interment would be in one of the permanent American military cemeteries to be established overseas.
The names of 81,462 American fatalities for the war were furnished the Graves Registration Service. The bodies of 78,112 of these were recovered; the remaining 3,350 were declared missing or lost at sea. So effectively was the Graves Registration Service program carried out that, of the recovered dead, 76,404 or nearly 98% were positively identified. Of the identified dead, 46,459 were returned to the United States by request of next of kin, for burial
in private or national cemeteries; 624 were shipped to foreign countries; 18 were released to the Lafayette Escadrille; 42, by special request, were allowed to remain where they fell; and 29,261 were interred in our oversea military cemeteries. All unidentified dead were likewise buried in those cemeteries, with the single exception of a body which was returned to the United States and interred in Arlington National Cemetery as The Unknown Soldier.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION. This agency was created by act of Congress in March of 1923. Initially it was charged with designing and erecting memorials and monuments in the oversea theaters of operation of our forces in World War I. By later legislation it took over, in the interwar period, the permanent oversea military cemeteries mentioned above, which had been created and until then maintained by the Army. Its responsibilities were further extended by reason of World War II. At present it is responsible for the design, construction, and mainte
of all battle monuments and memorials and for all military cemeteries installed by the United States on foreign soil. It is not responsible for military cemeteries in the continental United States or its possessions; these remain under the Army (QMG),
WORLD WAR II. Congress assigned to the Secretary of the Army the responsibility for the return of World War II dead. The purpose of the program was “to provide for the evacuation and return of the remains of certain persons who have died since 3 September 1939, and whose remains were buried in places located outside the continental limits of the United States and could not be returned to their homeland for burial due to wartime shipping restrictions." A time limit of 5 years, ending 31 December 1951, was set by Congress for npletion of the work. The Army Quartermaster General was assigned the task of carrying out this program for the dead of all the Armed Services, including accredited civilians.
Next of kin were advised that, at their option, bodies would be
shipped home for burial in either a national or a private cemetery, or (2) buried in one of the permanent World War II military cemeteries to be established overseas, or (3) buried in a private cemetery in a foreign country which was the homeland of either the deceased or the next of kin. The sum of $190,869,000 was made available for the program; later this was found to be more than was needed and was reduced to a total of $163,869,000.
Adjusted to the end of fiscal year 1957, our World War II dead coming under the operation of the program have been determined to total 360,817. Of these, 281,869 have been recovered and 78,948 declared unrecoverable. The recovered dead are interred as followsIn private cemeteries in the U.S. .132,801 In national cemeteries in the U.S. 38,475 In national cemeteries outside the U.S.
13,653 In permanent American military cemeteries overseas
93,137 In private cemeteries overseas
.281,869 Of the recovered dead, 273.375 or about 97% were identified, a tribute to the remarkable efficiency of the responsible authorities.
KOREAN WAR. Following the outbreak of this conflict a Central Graves Registration Office, Far East, was established in Tokyo to coordinate the search, recovery, identification, and final disposition operations of the command for all three of the Armed Services. The first bodies shipped to the United States under the Korea Return Program (50 identified remains) arrived at San Francisco on 22 March 1951. (This is believed to have been the first time in history that combat dead were returned to their next of kin, from an oversea area, while combat operations were still going on.) In April of 1952 air evacuation from the Korean front to Kokura, Japan, was inaugurated. This made it possible for bodies of men killed in battle to be en route to the United States for final interment in an average of about 30
days from date of death.
Under the terms of the Korean Armistice Agreement each side would be permitted to enter the territory under the control of the other side to disinter the graves of record and recover the remains of their dead. When negotiations were opened in March 1954 to carry out the provisions of the Agreement, the Communists would not agree to the entry of United Nations military personnel in North Korea, but proposed instead a mutual exchange of remains at a point in the Demilitarized Zone, a mile-wide buffer zone set up by the Armistice Agreement. After repeated efforts to negotiate this variation in the Agreement the United Nations representatives had no alternative but to agree to the Communist terms. The exchange known as "Operation Glory" was accomplished during September and October 1954. A total of 4,167 bodies were delivered to the United Nations Forces, and 13,528 enemy dead were disinterred from United Nations held territory and turned over to the Communist forces. Identification of remains delivered to the United Nations was complicated by the fact that the Communist forces made no attempt to preserve identification media and clues in their disinterment operations.
Of the 36,923 U.S. military personnel whose names were furnished the Grave Registration Service as missing. missing in action, or killed in action in the Korean fighting, the bodies of 29,586 have been recovered and 8,190 declared unrecoverable. Of the recovered remains 28,733 or about 97% have been identified.
TRIBUTE TO THE UNKNOWN DEAD OF THE WORLD WAR II AND KOREA, The unidentified bodies of two Amer. ican soldiers, one from each of these conflicts, were shipped early in 1958 to Arlington National Cemetery for interment near the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I.
CEMETERIES, MEMORIALS, AND MONUMENTS
These fall into two main groups; those in the continental United States or its possessions and those in foreign countries.
AMERICAN CEMETERIES. What is known as the “National Cemetery System" consists of 85 national cemeteries, 22 soldiers' lots, 7 Confederate ceme
teries and plots, 2 Confederate monuments, 1 prison park, and 3 other miscellaneous activities-a total of 120. The Quartermaster General, under the direction of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil-Military Affairs, is responsible for the establishment, development, operation, maintenance, and administration of the National Cemetery System and for the formulation of related plans, policies, procedures, and regulations.
In addition, there are 12 national cemeteries which were formerly administered as part of the above system, but have since been declared to be “national shrines" and transferred to
the jurisdiction of the National Parks Service in the Department of the Interior. In cases where these cemeteries are still open for additional burials, the QMG handles the administrative work connected therewith.
Of the 97 national cemeteries proper there are 85 which still have space for burials (including 79 of the 85 cemeteries which are under the jurisdiction of the QMG, and 6 of the 12 which are under the Parks Service). The remaining 12 are inactive and closed to future burials.
The following is a list of national cemeteries which do and do not still have available grave space.
LIST OF NATIONAL CEMETERIES HAVING AVAILABLE GRAVE SPACE Alabama
Indiana Mobile National Cemetery
New Albany National Cemetery Mobile, Alabama
Jay Street & Ekin Avenue Alaska
New Albany, Indiana Sitka National Cemetery
Iowa Sitka, Alaska
Keokuk National Cemetery Arkansas
18th & Ridge Streets Fayetteville National Cemetery
Keokuk, Iowa Fayetteville, Arkansas
Kansas Fort Smith National Cemetery
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery Garland Ave. & South 6th Street
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Scott National Cemetery Little Rock National Cemetery
Fort Scott, Kansas 26th & College Streets
Kentucky Little Rock, Arkansas
Camp Nelson National Cemetery California
Star Route Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Lebanon National Cemetery
Mill Springs National Cemetery San Bruno, California
West Somerset, Kentucky San Francisco National Cemetery
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Presidio of San Francisco, California
4701 Brownsboro Road Colorado
Louisville 7, Kentucky Fort Logan National Cemetery
Louisiana 3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Alexandria National Cemetery
Baton Rouge National Cemetery
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 21 Harewood Road, N. E.
Port Hudson National Cemetery
R.F.D. No. 1
Baltimore National Cemetery Barrancas National Cemetery
5501 Frederick Avenue Warrington, Florida Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland Andersonville National Cemetery
Loudon Park National Cemetery
3445 Frederick Avenue Andersonville, Georgia Marietta National Cemetery
Baltimore 28, Maryland
Minnesota Marietta, Georgia
Fort Snelling National Cemetery Hawaii
7601 34th Avenue, South National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu, T. H.
Minneapolis 9, Minnesota Illinois
Mississippi Alton National Cemetery
Corinth National Cemetery Alton, Illinois
Natchez National Cemetery
61 Cemetery Road Springfield, Illinois
Natchez, Mississippi Mound City National Cemetery
*Vicksburg National Cemetery Mound City, Illinois
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
101 Memorial Drive Rock Island, Illinois
St. Louis 23, Missouri
• Cemeteries under jurisdiction of Department of Interior.
Jefferson City National Cemetery
Chattanooga National Cemetery 1042 East McCarty Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee Jefferson City, Missouri
*Fort Donelson National Cemetery Springfield National Cemetery
Dover, Tennessee 1702 East Seminole Street
Knoxville National Cemetery
Knoxville, Tennessee *Custer Battlefield National Cemetery
Memphis National Cemetery Crow Agency, Montana
3601 Jackson Avenue Nebraska
Memphis, Tennessee Fort McPherson National Cemetery
Nashville National Cemetery Maxwell, Nebraska
Madison, Tennessee New Jersey
*Shiloh National Cemetery Beverly National Cemetery
Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee Beverly, New Jersey
•Stones River National Cemetery New Mexico
Murfreesboro, Tennessee Santa Fe National Cemetery
Texas Santa Fe, New Mexico
Fort Bliss National Cemetery New York
Fort Bliss, Texas Long Island National Cemetery
Fort San Houston National Cemetery Farmingdale, New York
Fort Sam Houston, Texas Woodlawn National Cemetery
San Antonio National Cemetery Elmira, New York
517 Paso Hondo Street North Carolina
San Antonio, Texas New Bern National Cemetery
Virginia 1711 National Avenue
Alexandria National Cemetery New Bern, North Carolina
Alexandria, Virginia Raleigh National Cemtery
Arlington National Cemetery East Davie & So. Pettigrew Sts.
Arlington 11, Virginia Raleigh, North Carolina
City Point National Cemetery
Culpeper National Cemetery
Culpeper, Virginia 2011 Market Street
Danville National Cemetery Wilmington, North Carolina
721 Lee Street Oklahoma
Danville, Virginia Fort Gibson National Cemetery
Fort Harrison National Cemetery Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
Varianna Road Oregon
Richmond, Virginia Willamette National Cemetery
Glendale National Cemetery 11800—S. E. Mt. Scott Boulevard
R. F. D. No. 5 P. 0. Box 6747
Richmond, Virginia Portland 66, Oregon
Hampton National Cemetery Puerto Rico
Hampton, Virginia Puerto Rico National Cemetery
Richmond National Cemetery
Richmond 23, Virginia
Seven Pines National Cemetery
Route 1, Box 5 1601 Boundary Street
Staunton National Cemetery
Staunton, Virginia South Dakota
Winchester National Cemetery Black Hills National Cemetery
401 National Avenue Sturgis, South Dakota
Winchester, Virginia Tennessee
West Virginia * Andrew Johnson National Cemetery
Grafton National Cemetery Greenville, Tennessee
Grafton, West Virginia LIST OF NATIONAL CEMETERIES HAVING NO AVAILABLE GRAVE SPACE District of Columbia
New Jersey *Battle Ground National Cemetery
Finn's Point National Cemetery 6625 Georgia Avenue, N. W.
Salem, New Jersey Washington, D. C.
New York Florida
Cypress Hills National Cemetery St. Augustine National Cemetery
Jamaica & Hale Avenues St. Augustine, Florida
Brooklyn 8, New York Indiana
Pennsylvania Crown Hill National Cemetery
*Gettysburg National Cemetery Indianapolis, Indiana
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Kentucky
Philadelphia National Cemetery Cave Hill National Cemetery
Haines Avenue & Limekiln Pike 701 Baxter Avenue
Philadelphia 38, Pennsylvania Louisville, Kentucky
Virginia Danville National Cemetery
Balls Bluff National Cemetery North First Street
Leesburg, Virginia Danville, Kentucky
Cold Harbor National Cemetery Lexington National Cemetery
Route 1, Box 103 Lexington, Kentucky
Richmond, Virginia Perryville National Cemetery
*Fredericksburg National Cemetery Perryville, Kentucky
Fredericksburg, Virginia Maryland
*Poplar Grove National Cemetery Annapolis National Cemetery
Petersburg, Virginia 800 West Street
*Yorktown National Cemetery Annapolis, Maryland
Yorktown, Virginia * Antietam National Cemetery