Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quantico National Cemetery

   Told to expand its training capabilities during World War I, the Marine Corps began inspecting promising sites in the spring of 1917.  Some five thousand acres along Quantico Creek were leased. In 1918 a permanent Marine base was established at Quantico. 

    In 1977, the Marine Corps donated 725 acres of land to establish the Quantico National Cemetery.  The cemetery was formally dedicated on May 15, 1983.  The land has been used by the military for over two hundred years. First, around 1775 by the Commonwealth of Virginia for Navy operations, and later, as a blockade point for the Confederate army during the Civil War. 

     In 1989, a monument to Edson’s Raiders was the first memorial dedicated on the memorial pathway at Quantico National Cemetery. It is dedicated to the 800 members of the First Marine Raider Battalion, which from August 1942 to October 1943, played a key role in helping the greatly outnumbered American forces push back Japanese troops in the Solomon Islands.  The Purple Heart Memorial was dedicated August 7, 1990, in honor of Purple Heart medal recipients interred at the cemetery. Additional memorials honor: Colonel William "Rich" Higgins, who was held hostage in Lebanon; the Fourth Marine Division Memorial; the Commonwealth of Virginia Memorial dedicated to honor all of the nation’s veterans; the First Marine Division Memorial; the Sixth Marine Division Memorial to honor the division that won the Presidential Unit Citation for its actions in Okinawa during World War II. 

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