Civil War sailors buried at Arlington
WASHINGTON — One hundred and fifty years after their Civil War ironclad sank, two unknown sailors from the warship Monitor were laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
“This may well be the last time we bury Navy personnel who fought in the Civil War at Arlington,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at a funeral service. “We do not want their sacrifice, however distant, to be unremembered.”
The burial, with full military honors, came after an unsuccessful effort to identify the sailors, including forensic reconstructions of their faces last year.
The skeletal remains were discovered inside the Union warship's gun turret after it was raised from the ocean floor off the North Carolina coast in 2002.
While the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii spent years trying to identify the sailors, officials hope a descendant will emerge one day and provide a conclusive DNA match, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The burial came in advance of Saturday's 151st anniversary of the first battle between ironclads, the Monitor and the Confederate ship Virginia, also known as the Merrimack, in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862. The 4 1⁄2-hour duel ended in a draw.
The Monitor sank in a New Year's Eve storm that year. The 16 sailors who died that day will be memorialized on a marker in the cemetery.
“While naval tradition holds the site of a shipwreck as hallowed ground and a proper final resting place for sailors who perish at sea, this ceremony pays tribute not only to the two sailors being interred, but to all who died when Monitor sank so many years ago during the Civil War,” Mabus said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hostility at VA lingers, panel told
- Magma chamber spied under Yellowstone volcano
- Study a surprise: Commercial bees unfazed by pesticides
- House demands details of Taliban detainees swap for Bergdahl
- 15 buffalo that escaped from farm killed in upstate N.Y.
- Residents guide geese out of town
- Administration turns up heat on Medicaid expansion
- ‘Organic’ tag on water-raised produce raises ire
- Footage of protesters walking on flag sparks strife at Georgia university
- Holder delivers farewell address
- Florida fraternity members spit on disabled veterans at retreat