Friday, November 11, 2011

Arlington: The Story of our Nation's Cemetery

Arlington: The Story of our Nation's Cemetery
by Charles Demarest
Roaring Book Press, 2011. Unpaged. Nonfiction.

Arlington House was built by George Washington's step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis. Parke's daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis married Robert E. Lee, and they lived in Arlington House until Lee resigned from the United States Army to eventually become the commander of the Confederate Army. General Lee and his family never returned to Arlington House, and the conversion of the property surrounding Arlington House into a cemetery for military dead was symbolic of northern anger at Lee's "desertion." From that resentful beginning came Arlington National Cemetery, resting place for America' honored dead. Demarest's pictures provide a lovely accompaniment for his stories of the Tomb of the Unknowns, President Kennedy's eternal flame (he and President Taft are the only two presidents buried at Arlington), and the tradition of the riderless horse (caparisoned) at services for the fallen. This book provides a fine introduction and overview for young people of one of our most important national shrines.

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