Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus

St Elizabeths historic cemetery. Photo by Susana Raab

St Elizabeths historic cemetery. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Tucked away behind Johnson Middle School on 12 Place SE, lies the remains of many of Saint Elizabeths Hospital former residents, veterans all.  Today at 11 AM a small but significant group of people gathered to honor these veterans, many of them anonymous, but some with stories that persevere.  Among those gathered to honor were: Arrington Dixon, President of the Anacostia Coordinating Council, keynote speaker and Civil Rights activist Dr. Frank Smith, now Director of the African American Civil War Museum, members of the Anacostia High School Junior ROTC, members of FREED, the Female Re-Enactors of Distinction, and the combined chorus of the US Coast Guard and St. Elizabeths Hospital, among other notables.  It was a beautiful ceremony on a perfect Washington autumn day, complete with a bagpiper, bugler, and speeches that recognized the struggles of those who were interred in the Cemetery, advocated for mental health care, and honored those who continue to serve in the US Armed Forces.

Dr. Frank Smith, Director of the African American Civil War Museum delivers the keynote address at the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Dr. Frank Smith, Director of the African American Civil War Museum delivers the keynote address at the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

The Coast Guard Color Guard posts during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

The Coast Guard Color Guard posts during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

 Members of FREED (Female Reenactors of Distinction of the American Civil War): Judy Williams, Joyce Bailey, Helen Hassell, Asa Gordon, Carol Gordon, and Shirley Holmes pose for a portrait before the commencement of the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Members of FREED (Female Reenactors of Distinction of the American Civil War): Judy Williams, Joyce Bailey, Helen Hassell, Asa Gordon, Carol Gordon, and Shirley Holmes pose for a portrait before the commencement of the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Members of FREED (Female Reenactors of Distinction of the American Civil War): take a cellphone photograph during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Members of FREED (Female Reenactors of Distinction of the American Civil War): take a cellphone photograph during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

 

-Jeffrey Burton of the US Coast Guard Pipe Band plays during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.   Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

-Jeffrey Burton of the US Coast Guard Pipe Band plays during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Members of the Anacostia High School Junior ROTC places flags on graves of soldiers during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Members of the Anacostia High School Junior ROTC places flags on graves of soldiers during the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

A gravestone in Saint Elizabeths Cemetery.  Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

A gravestone in Saint Elizabeths Cemetery. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

 

 - The historic Saint Elizabeths Cemetery at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus. Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

– The historic Saint Elizabeths Cemetery at Saint Elizabeths Hospital East Campus.
Photo by Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution