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U.S. Army Center of Military History

The Bugler's Statue: Capturing a Moment
Documentary Trailer, Pershing's Own

Honor, Remember, Explore

The U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) has provided curatorial and exhibit design services for Arlington National Cemetery's new Welcome Center. Installed in the former Visitor Center, the new exhibits draw inspiration from Arlington's three major themes – Honor, Remember, Explore. The "Honor" exhibit explains how a military funeral honors a veteran and analyzes the origins of the components of a military funeral. The "Remember" exhibit provides an overview of the monuments and memorials that punctuate the rows of precisely aligned graves. The "Explore" exhibit introduces various physical experiences and digital resources offered to those who want to learn more about Arlington National Cemetery.

Working from the new Arlington National Cemetery master plan, CMH curators and historians developed a storyline. They wrote a script and identified appropriate images to tell Arlington's story. CMH designers then converted the words and images into a three-dimensional designs that would best utilize the available space, capture public attention, and be easy to follow. The exhibits include few artifacts – the Army, Navy, and Air Force medals of honor, and the bugle used at President Kennedy's funeral. The exhibits help visitors make the most of their visit. Their understanding deepens as they move through the Welcome Center and enter the cemetery itself to fully experience this key historic site.

The Final Tribute

The bugler performs the last act of the military funeral, the final tribute of a grateful nation to a departed veteran. For a moment there is no sound, only silence. The bugler's face is still relaxed and all is expectation. For those gathered, the world stands still until the twenty-fourth and final note of "Taps" is played.

Each military service provides a bugler. The colors of the distinctive blue dress coat and scarlet hat of the Army band uniform shown here derive from the coat of arms of the United States. Enlisted Army musicians wear large ceremonial chevrons with points down, similar to chevrons worn in the Army from 1833 to 1902.

"Taps" was written by Brigadier General Daniel A. Butterfield in July 1862 at Berkeley Plantation, Harrison's Landing, Virginia. This musical composition also was known as "Butterfield's Lullaby."


The Bugler's Moment