It’s difficult not to be extremely moved while watching “Arlington National Cemetery, ” a high-quality documentary , which will airing for the first time on WETA-TV in Washington, D.C., on February 5 (and will be available to view on line beginning March 1). This hour-long show is produced by WETA, the Washington, D.C., PBS TV station, which has its offices in Arlington, Virginia, not far from the subject of the film, the famed Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of some 400, 000 Americans
This new documentary sketches the history of the famed 624-acre national cemetery. The federal government acquired the land, which was owned by the family of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, during the Civil War; the first burials took place in 1864.
The heart of this doc is an in-depth look at virtually every aspect of the cemetery’s many and varied day-to-day operations. There are interviews with cemetery staff, as well as with Gold Star parents, and military personnel—including 3rd Infantry Division “Old Guard” men who perform the solemn ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the specialists, NCOs, and officers who work with the horses that take part in the more than 3, 000 burial ceremonies held at Arlington every year.
“Arlington National Cemetery” is the work of a WETA production team headed by executive producer Glenn Baker and writer and producer Rebecca Tulkoff. They have a fine job in telling virtually the whole story of the nation’s iconic National Cemetery.