Christa Mcauliffe and Arlington National Cemetary- a question

According to some news reports today that discussed the Challenger tragedy, Mrs. Mcauliffe is interrred in Arlington National Cemetary along with the remains of the rest of the crew. They were interred together, is how it was put. ( the more gruesome aspects of why this happened, is for another thread ).

Here’s the question. Mrs. Mcauliffe was not a member of the armed forces, and as near as I can find on Google, she never had been. Is she the only civillian who had never served in any capacity in the military to be buried at Arlington?

This is not an indictment of the idea that she is buried there. Much to the contrary- she paid for her dreams with her life and I find it honorable that she be buried with her crew members. The story just got me wondering, so I’m asking.


Prominent civilians buried at Arlington National Cemetary.

I haven’t looked through the whole list, but there seem to be quite a few folks there who died in for their without being in the service, and quite a few spouses.

There are many spouses of military heroes buried in the cemetery. Judging by the link below, it looks like there are many people that were never in the military. Several astronauts are listed without a military rank.

She’s not buried at Arlington. According to the website, she’s buried in Concord, New Hampshire.

Interesting question. I, too, think she is deserving of resting with heroes.

But as to your OP…I don’t know if there were civilians buried in Arlington in the early years, when it was designed as an attack on Robert E. Lee rather than sacred ground. I have a book on Arlington somewhere in my library. I shall have to dig it out and do some research.

IIRC, the two members of Challenger’s crew who were military - former or current - have specific graves at Arlington. Then, the unidentifyable (at the time) other remains of the crew are indeed in a group site, regardless of the fact that they were or weren’t current/former military.

I thought that as well. According to CNN today, there is a memorial/gravesite in Concord, NH. There is also the site of her actual interrred remains. That is, apparently, Arlington. Hence my OP.

Sheesh, thanks DrFidelius. Nothing like a web page whose title answers my question !! Indeed, many prominent folks.

This Arlington site doesn’t list Mrs. Mcauliffe as being buried there. Hmph. Methinks CNN got it wrong. They made it sound as though her remains were interred in Arlington, but a marker is also in Concord. It sounds like the reverse is the case.

God, how awful. As a hijack, I have to wonder if Dana Falkenberg is the youngest person buried there.

I didn’t remember this from the 9/11 attacks. :frowning:

The Arlington link from engineer_comp_geek says something ambiguous here:

So, we don’t know if Mrs. Mcauliffle’s remains were identified and returned or not.

Looking through my list, it seems most of the “prominent civilians” are men whose achievements in civilian life far outshone their military careers. (Of course, that holds true for most veterans, even the ones who actually like to talk about their time in the service…)