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Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Illinois

Updated on May 22, 2017
Gravestones in perfect lines at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
Gravestones in perfect lines at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

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Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery was dedicated on October 3rd, 1999 as the 117th national cemetery. The cemetery is 982 acres and will provide for 400,000 burial spaces. The location is the old Joliet Arsenal also known at the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant in Elwood, Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Support Committee is a not for profit organization that elicits the support for maintenance and support of the cemetery. Their current project is to erect a full size statue of Lincoln, please visit their site to donate to this project.

In 1862, President Lincoln enacted the law establishing national cemeteries "... for the soldiers who die in the service of the country." Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States who was the president during the civil war and was assassinated at Ford's Theater in 1865. President Lincoln is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery near the State Capital in Springfield, Illinois

To be eligible to be buried at a National Cemetery, please see the burial requirements at the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Abraham Lincoln Statue

On, September 10, 2016, the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Support Committee dedicated the statue of Abraham Lincoln to the national cemetery. This life size statue accommodates people who want to take a picture with the president who founded the national cemetery system via an Act of Congress July 17, 1862. This is the first time a President of the United States will be honored with a statue in any national cemetery.

Dedication Ceremony on September 10th, 2016
Dedication Ceremony on September 10th, 2016 | Source

Monuments and Memorials at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

Medal of Honor Recipient - First Sergeant Theodore Hyatt, (Civil War), Company D, 127th Illinois Infantry, 2nd Division, 15th Army Corps. Battle of Vicksburg, May 22, 1863. (Section 1, Grave 1613)

Memorial Walk - 11 memorials that commemorate soldiers in all the wars the United States has fought. From the Revolutionary War thru the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sometimes you find things you don't expect, like this bear in camouflage at the US Navy Armed Guard dedicated by the Illinois-Wisconsin veterans.

Another memorial is dedicated to the Buffalo Soldiers, dubbed by the American Indians after the Civil War as being proud, brave, and strong.

Blue Star Memorial Marker - dedicated on September 15, 2000 and donated by the District VIII Garden Club of Illinois. The marker is a tribute to American men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve their country.

Pearl Harbor Monument at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
Pearl Harbor Monument at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

As the Eagle Soars Monument

As the Eagle Soars Monument is an 18-foot granite obelisk crowned by a bronze eagle with outstretched wings. This monument was dedicated on May 12, 2001 and donated by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association of Illinois. Inscribed on the monument is the following

In memory of those 2,403 gallant Americans who perished in the service of their country on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, December 7, 1941.

A day that will live in Infamy

"He" bore them up on eagles wings.

Notable Visits to the Cemetery

Memorial Day, May 31st, 2010 - President Barack O'Bama visited the cemetery.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Entrance to Lincoln National Cemetery
Entrance to Lincoln National Cemetery

Ceremonies at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

The Memorial Day ceremony is typically held at 11:30am according to the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Volunteers place flags in the Flag-In ceremony Friday at the Abraham Lincoln Cemetery. Additional volunteers are needed after the Flag-Out ceremony to remove the flags starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Another ceremony is typically held on Veterans Day.

Make a dedication to a person who has served in the military.

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    • LeonRusselman profile image


      6 years ago

      The national cemeteries are beautiful. We live near one. We have close family in there and intend to go there too, someday. To visit is rather humbling -to see the sheer numbers of vets in their final resting place.

      Nice work on your lens.


    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      7 years ago from Texas

      National cemeteries are such moving places to visit. I often visit the DFW National Cemetery in Texas. Nice article and tribute to our veterans.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I remember back in high school that a few classmates enlisted -- I would hope they are still with us. You know, I have a certain affinity for cemetaries and appreciate all the history you can find there.


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