From decorated admirals to mess stewards to blacksmiths to infants, the Cemetery and Columbarium hold the remains of a diverse array of individuals. Their lives tell the history of the US Navy and the Naval Academy. The following are some of the notable monuments at the Cemetery. Click here for a map of the Cemetery indicating the locations of these notable monuments.
The USS Huron, an iron sloop-rigged steamer, was wrecked in a storm near Nag's Head, North Carolina, on November 24, 1877. Modest-sized markers for the graves of individual men surround a larger monument commemorating the Huron tragedy.
The Jeannette Monument was erected in memory of the men who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Expedition in October 1881. Its design is based on a cairn that a recovery crew built to mark the remains of the explorers in the arctic. The plaque on the monument reads: Commemorative of the heroic officers and men of the United States Navy who perished in the Jeannette Arctic Exploring Expedition. 1881. The ice on the cross is a reminder of the frigid environment in which they were lost. This is the largest monument at the Cemetery.
One of the oldest monuments in the Cemetery, this crudely carved monument memorializes the Americans who died in the Battle of Vera Cruz during the Mexican War. The inscription, written in Spanish, translates to: To the memory of the Americans who died in this fortress [in] the year 1847. This monument is one of a select few at the Cemetery with an inscription in a foreign language.
Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King (1878-1956) NA 1901 was Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations during World War II. Fleet Admiral King is the only five-star admiral at the Cemetery. His monument proudly proclaims this distinction.
A forty-two year veteran, Admiral Arleigh A. Burke (1901-1996) NA '23 served as Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for three two-year terms, making him the longest serving CNO. Burke's monument depicts the USS Arleigh Burke, DDG-51, the first in a class of guided missile destroyers named for him.
The lone grave of Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. (1918-2002) NA '39 is appropriately located in front of Beach Hall, named in honor of him and his father, Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr. (1867-1943) NA 1888. In 1960, the younger Beach was the Commanding Officer of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton when it sailed submerged around the world in a record-setting 84 days. Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. authored numerous books including Run Silent, Run Deep, a classic novel on submarine warfare.
In October 1864, Union Commander William B. Cushing (1842-1874) NA 1861 led a crew that attacked and sank the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle. His monument is topped by an elaborate relief that depicts drapery, a service dress hat, and a sword.
Rear Admiral Wilson F. Flagg (1938-2001) NA '61 and his wife, Darlene E. Flagg (1938-2001) were on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. RADM Flagg logged the most hours of any pilot on F-8 Crusader supersonic jets.
Bandmaster Charles A. Zimmerman (1861-1916) composed the music for Anchors Aweigh as a football fight song dedicated to the Class of 1907. Anchors Aweigh is the official song of the United States Navy.
Midshipmen William Edward Traylor Neumann NA 1903 and Thomas Ward, Jr. NA 1903 were friends and chose to serve on the USS Missouri together. They died during a training accident on April 13, 1904. Their grave is representative of a small number of midshipmen graves at the Cemetery.