Ever since Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton dedicated Arlington Mansion and 200 acres of ground as a military cemetery on June 15, 1864, more than 300,000 people have been buried at Arlington, a burial place located on the western bank of the Potomac River, including President John F. Kennedy, along with Robert F. Kennedy.
On Saturday, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who served in the Korean War from 1951 through 1953 as a private first class in the United States Army while stationed in Europe, will be the third Kennedy brother buried at Arlington
It’s interesting to note that in addition to there being a number of distinguished military figures, astronauts, Supreme Court justices, former U.S. presidents, and prominent medical figures; several American journalists have been laid to rest at Arlington as well.
Merriman Smith, United Press International White House Correspondent, best remembered for sitting in the front motorcade of the press pool during President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, and calling in the very first dispatch: ``THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED AT PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S MOTORCADE IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS’’ after just beating his Associated Press competitor, Jack Bell to the limousine’s radiotelephone. Smith’s brilliant reporting of the Kennedy .assassination won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1964.
Smith died from an apparent suicide in 1970 at age 57. His ashes were buried beside his son, Capt Merriman Smith Jr, an army helicopter pilot, who was killed in Vietnam. Smith’s burial spot at Arlington was granted through special permission by the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington.
During his funeral, President Nixon sent a personal message, which read: ``the name of Merriman Smith has a place on the honor roll of great reporters.’’
Another prominent Pulitzer recipient buried at Arlington is Margariette Higgins, known for her courageous reporting from the front lines of Korea, as war correspondent for The New York Herald Tribune.
Miss Higgins, who later reported for Newsday, the Long Island daily, died in 1966, shortly after contracting a rare tropical ailment during a tour in Vietnam, Pakistan, and India. She was 45. Higgins was the wife of Lieutenant General William E. Hall, who served in the United States Air Force.
The most recent journalist buried at Arlington was Frank Reynolds, the former anchor of ABC’s ``World News Tonight’’, who died in 1983 at age 59 from bone cancer. Mr. Reynolds was a W.W. II veteran and purple heart recipient.
Peter Lisagor, Washington Bureau Chief of the Chicago Daily News from 1959 to 1976; and a frequent guest on ``Meet the Press’’ ``Face the Nation’’ and ``This Week in Washington’’ died in 1976 from lung cancer. He was 61. Lisagor was a sergeant with the U.S. Army during World War II, serving as a correspondent and London editor for Stars and Stripes. A year after his death, The Chicago Headline Club, a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, created the Peter Lisagor Awards, which recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism.
Joseph M. Patterson, a World War I veteran; whose dogged military service earned such high praise, even from Douglas MacArthur who went so far as to describe him as , ``the most brilliant soldier that I ever served with’’
Patterson founded The Illustrated Daily News, now The New York Daily News along with cousin Col. Robert McCormick, in 1919. With Patterson as editor, the N.Y tabloid earned its first Pulitzer in 1937 for editorial cartooning; and in 1941 for distinguished editorial writing
Mr. Patterson died in 1946, and was buried at Arlington next to his wife, Mary King Patterson.
Patterson's grandfather, Joseph Medill, was the founder of the Chicago Tribune
Julius Ochs Adler, former publisher of the Chattanooga Times and vice president and general manager of The New York Times died from pancreatic cancer in 1955 at age 62.
Mr. Adler received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the French Croix de Guerre during World War I; and during WW II, the decorated hero commanded the 77th Infantry Division, a unit responsible for protecting Hawaii from 1941 to 1944
Other journalists buried at Arlington National Cemetery, include:
• William F. Knox, U.S. Army Colonel; publisher of the Chicago Daily News
• Mary Roberts Rinehart, war correspondent during World War II for the Saturday Evening Post; buried alongside her husband, Major Stanley M. Rinehart, United States Army Medical Corps
• William Jennings Bryan, editor of the Omaha World-Herald; and three-time nominee for the Democratic party: 1896, 1900 and 1908, volunteer army officer in the Spanish-American war
• Edward S. Hickey — Foreign war correspondent, deputy chief of Voice of America
• Carol H. Arndt — Women's editor for Army Times
• Lou Van Wagoner — Vice president of Thrifty News Bureau: 1960-70
• Daniel F. Gilmore — UPI reporter, covering Vietnam. World War II POW.
• Edward Bomar — Well-known AP reporter
Source: Arlington National Cemetery