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Arlington marks 150th anniversary of first burial

Written by The Associated Press | May 13, 2014 11:30 AM
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(Arlington, Va. ) -- Descendants of the first soldier buried at Arlington National Cemetery have participated in a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the interment's 150th anniversary.

The ceremony at the grave of Union Pvt. William Christman kicks off a month of activity marking the sesquicentennial of the cemetery just outside Washington, D.C. 

Christman, a member of the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry, was buried May 13, 1864, after contracting a case of measles. The land was officially designated as a military cemetery a month later. 

Great-grandnephews and nieces of Christman attended the wreath-laying. 

Arlington Cemetery sits on land that had been the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Union army occupied the estate after Virginia seceded from the Union and turned it into a burial ground in part as a way to spite Lee.

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