WASHINGTON -- The Navy announced Feb. 21 that the March 8 graveside interment ceremony of the remains of two unknown Sailors recovered from the USS Monitor shipwreck will be open to the public. The unknown Sailors were lost along with 14 of their shipmates when Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C. on Dec. 31, 1862. All 16 Sailors will be memorialized on a group marker in section 46 of the cemetery, which is between the amphitheater and the USS Maine Mast memorial. The specific date of the interment was chosen to recognize the Monitor's role in the Battle of Hampton Roads 151 years ago.
It is Navy custom and tradition to honor the servicemember's final resting place by conducting an official burial ceremony.
The chapel service is by invitation only. Members of the public may attend the interment, which begins at approximately 4:30 p.m., but will not be involved in and/or participate directly in the funeral procession or graveside service. Driving to the gravesite will not be permitted. Attendees may park in the ANC Welcome Center parking garage and either walk or take, for a fee, the Martz tour tram to the Amphitheater.
For those wishing to attend in period costume, cemetery regulations stipulate that no weapons, to include historic weapons, are allowed. Groups should contact Mr. Stuart McLean, Director, Ceremonies and Special Events for Naval District Washington at (202) 433-4690.