Archbald Memorial Day ceremony honors NEPA native, first military member buried at Arlington National Cemetery


ARCHBALD, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Archbald held a Memorial Day ceremony Monday outside the American Legion Post 869. 

Colonel John W. McDonald, Commander of the Tobyhanna Army Depot, spoke at the ceremony and shared the story of Private William Henry Christman who was the first military member to be buried at Arlington Cemetery back in 1864 and was from Tobyhanna Township in Monroe County.

Christman died from the measles while fighting for the Union Army during the Civil War just one month into his service.

“There is nothing to indicate that he was selected for any specific reason except that someone had to be first. As much as it was an honor, it is also an unfortunate truth,” said Colonel McDonald.

There are now approximately 400,000 veterans and their dependents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They include service members from every war and conflict. There are an average of 25 burials a day.

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