By: Mike Morones

Since the first military burial here May 13, 1864, Arlington National Cemetery has become the final resting place for more than 400,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and their families. Those who on Sept. 11, 2001, died only a few hundred yards away at the Pentagon are buried here, as are the Challenger astronauts. Fifteen thousand soldiers from the Civil War — Union and Confederate — rest in Section 27 and Section 13, known as the Field of the Dead. Four thousand freed slaves, many identified only as “Citizen,” and two presidents also are buried at Arlington.

On a spring day, when the skies are clear and the magnolias are in bloom, it’s easy to forget that Arlington is an active cemetery. Tourists and boisterous school groups walk among the memorials, passing plaques that recall events central to the nation’s evolution.
As the nation celebrates Arlington’s 150th anniversary this summer, the Military Times takes an in-depth look at the time-honored and revered cemetery, weaving in personal stories of veterans, their families and little-known ceremonies and traditions.

The project, rich with photos, videos, including an interview with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and an interactive map that highlights famous people buried there, as well as sections as they're arranged by conflict, can be viewed in its entirety here: