This week, I traveled to DC for business and on my way to the airport, took a quick visit to Arlington National Cemetery. I went to the cemetery with one purpose truly, to go to the grave site of Henry A. Greene. Henry, is the grandfather of a woman I met a few weeks ago who was looking for information about him. She came to a presentation I gave last month as part of Black History Month programming for Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage and we sat for some time afterwards to work together on her family tree.
As we sat together that afternoon, one of the things we learned was that Henry was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There was even a picture already added to his Find-A-Grave entry. However, I thought it would still be meaningful for me to visit, and at the same time, I could learn more about the cemetery.
Arlington is a big cemetery! More than 600 acres. Fortunately, the cemetery makes it easy to find who you are looking for. At the front desk, if you provide the name, staff will give you the location and burial number. You can also do this online using the cemetery’s Explorer site (also available as a smartphone app). A grave site shuttle then takes you to the section. Henry is buried in Section 17. Section 17 is near the back of the cemetery and I’ve marked the approximate location of his grave site with a red X on the map
After the shuttle dropped me off, finding his grave was not difficult. Each headstone is clearly numbered and I found Henry exactly as the bells rang 12 pm.
You’ll notice Henry’s headstone is not the standard government-issued one, which means it was paid for privately, most likely his family. I am working with his granddaughter to try and find out more information about him – he was Cherokee, orphaned as a child, and adopted by European parents. There is an obituary that exists for him which I still need to order, so we will see what we can learn about Sgt. Greene as time passes. It was very moving to be there to visit with him though.
Then, in my good genealogy citizen duty, I took a few pictures for BillionGraves and Find-A-Grave. And, as I was there, I thought of looking for Koonces buried there and going to their grave sites, but ultimately decided that would take too long. However, as I was walking down Henry’s row taking pictures for BillionGraves and Find-A-Grave, lo and behold, I come across Earl L. Koontz! Different spelling, but I’ll research him any way for my Koonce Surname Project.
Once home, I did search and there are 11 Koonces and 30 Koontzs buried there. Looks like I have some researching to do! All in all, it was a good trip. I took a tour, which was quite educational, and I hope to get back again.