American troops serving at home and abroad have given their lives, their limbs and years of service to a grateful nation. Many of those who have passed away are buried with honor in Arlington National Cemetery — more than 300,000 veterans in total — but far more have been laid to rest in memorial sites and private plots around the country. Here is a look at the final resting places of some of the most famous American warriors who have served since the nation’s founding.
Before he was president, George Washington led the Continental Army in the six-year fight against British troops. Washington is interred at his home in Mount Vernon, Va. Nathanael Greene, one of Washington’s top generals, was felled at the age of 44 by sunstroke shortly after the war ended. He is buried in Johnson Square in Savannah, Ga. The great American naval hero of the war, John Paul Jones, died in France and was buried there, but was later exhumed. His hallowed remains are now enshrined at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
INDIAN AND MEXICAN WARS
Andrew Jackson fought bravely in the War of 1812 and in numerous engagements with Indian tribes, dying in 1845 of a series of ailments after serving two terms in the White House. He’s buried on his estate, the Hermitage, in Nashville, Tenn. Future president Zachary Taylor fought Indians from Indiana to Florida to Texas and later became a hero of the Mexican-American War. He is interred in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Ky.
Though Arlington National Cemetery was created during the Civil War, few of its great generals are buried there — not even Robert E. Lee, who once owned the property. Ulysses S. Grant lies in Grant’s Tomb in New York’s Riverside Park. Gen. Winfield Scott, an important Union strategist, is buried at West Point, where he is joined by George Armstrong Custer, who survived the Civil War but died at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
After the war, Gen. Robert E. Lee became the President of Washington College in Lexington, Va. (now Washington and Lee University), and is interred at the school’s Lee Chapel. His ablest commander is buried in the same city in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, though the Confederate tactician lost an arm in battle, and the arm is buried elsewhere.
WORLD WAR II
Commander in chief of the Pacific fleet, Chester W. Nimitz: was later promoted to Chief of Naval Operation. He was buried at Golden Gate Cemetery in San Bruno, Calif, in 1966. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was president of both the U.S. and Columbia University, and buried in the chapel at his presidential center in Abilene, Kan., in 1969. The top general in the Pacific theater, Douglas MacArthur, was laid to rest in the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Va., alongside his wife.
James Stockdale was the highest-ranking officer held as a POW in Vietnam and spent more than seven years in confinement. When he passed away in 2005 he was buried at the Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Md. William Westmoreland, the commanding general in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968, died just two weeks after Stockdale and was laid to rest in the cemetery at West Point. Charles Beckwith, who is credited with creating the special operations team Delta Force, was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Tex., upon his death in 1994.
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
Jason Dunham, a Marine corporal, received the Medal of Honor for smothering a grenade with his helmet and body while wrestling an insurgent in Iraq. He lies in a private cemetery in Alleghany, N.Y. (image) Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor was awarded the Medal of Honor after jumping on a grenade in 2006 to shield his sniper team in Iraq; he is buried in Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery, San Diego. (image) Another SEAL, Michael P. Murphy, died bravely in a firefight in Afghanistan and was buried in Calverton National Cemetery in Calverton, N.Y.
Yet more than 125,000 American troops are buried on foreign soil in 24 permanent cemeteries, including two of the country’s finest warriors. Gen. George S. Patton survived World War II and asked to be buried with his men. He was laid to rest in a U.S. military cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg, after his death in 1945. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who, like his father, was awarded the Medal of Honor, led the assault on Utah Beach and is buried in the military cemetery in Normandy, France.