Preservation and restoration of Alexandria National Cemetery received a major boost just prior to Veteran's Day when U.S. Representative James P. Moran (D-8) announced a $100,000 grant at a wreath-laying ceremony honoring veterans on Nov. 5.
"The Alexandria National Cemetery is the crown jewel of the National Cemetery system and these historic grounds truly honor the sacrifices of our devoted soldiers," Moran said. Located just southwest of Old Town, the cemetery has been home to many firsts, according to Moran.
It was the first national cemetery during the Civil War to bury black soldiers and unknown soldiers from both the North and the South. "Today marks another first," Moran said to a small crowd that gathered. "Alexandria National Cemetery will be the first national cemetery to receive a federal Save America's Treasures grant."
SECURED RECENTLY by Moran when the Congress passed the fiscal 2004 Interior Appropriations bill, the grant will be used to help restore the Superintendent's Lodge located within the cemetery's stone walls. It was originally built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1870's, but gutted by fire in the 1880's.
"The Lodge building is an important part of Alexandria's and America's history," Moran said. "More importantly, it is a vital link to the history of our nation paying respect to its fallen soldiers."