When you stroll the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, almost haphazardly placed around the thousands of simple headstones, there’s no shortage of extravagant resting places for some of our nation’s most distinguished members.
Eternal flames, mausoleums, and large gravestones adorn the beautifully maintained property. These individuals rightfully have the tribute befitting their rarely equaled contributions to our country. It’s a who’s who mix of executive, legislative, judicial, and military members of American history. But at section 2, marker 49-69f, there lies an American whose accomplishments in life are dwarfed by a simple title he held for just two years: PVT, US MARINE CORPS.
His name was Michael J. Mansfield, the former congressman, senator, and ambassador bred from the state of Montana. Mansfield’s list of accomplishments in DC were, arguably, some of the greatest in American history. Aside from his long tenure as the Senate majority leader, Mansfield was crucial to some of the most important acts of legislation and policy in the second half of the 20th century.
But there is no grand gesture to his accomplishments in Arlington. He is simply another one of the many who wore a uniform.