Arlington National Cemetery opens 27-acre expansion with burial of two Civil War veterans - U.S.

ARLINGTON, Va. With a reflective, quiet ceremony Thursday afternoon, Arlington National Cemetery officially completed its first expansion in nearly 40 years a 27-acre swath that is expected to be filled with military dead and their families by the 2040s.

Undercurrent of enthusiasm ran through an otherwise serious event. The expansion will keep the cemetery long viewed as a shrine to Americas fallen heroes viable for about 10 years longer than expected. Plans for the new space, titled the Millennium Project, have been in the works since Bill Clinton was president in 1990s.

Its a hugely important project for Arlington National Cemetery, said David Fedroff, the cemeterys deputy chief of engineering. Any time we get to increase our burial capacity and have the opportunity to continue to serve veterans for the future is an extremely proud moment.

A historic moment

About 100 people huddled in the shade of two large tents in the cemeterys new Section 81 on Thursday.

The event started with cemetery officials unveiling signs for two new roads one named for lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis and the other for Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan W. Gifford.

Ida Lewis is the first woman to be honored with a street name at Arlington. In the mid-1800s, Lewis rescued people near Lime Rock Island in Rhode Island, where her family tended the Lime Rock Lighthouse. The U.S. Lighthouse Service later was absorbed into the U.S. Coast Guard.

In 1854, her first rescue saved the lives of four m....

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