Civil War Soldier’s Remains to be Buried Tomorrow at Arlington March 8th 2013

The funeral Friday is open to the public. After a service at the adjacent Fort Myer chapel, the men are to be buried at 4:30 p.m. in the cemetery’s Section 46.

One of the most renowned vessels in history, the Monitor is famous for engaging in the first battle between ironclad warships on March 9, 1862. Its opponent was the formidable Confederate ship CSS Virginia, formerly the USS Merrimack.

The arrival at Dulles was emotional for some of those who had been working on the Monitor project for years.

“I was thinking of the irony that these men who fought to preserve the Union flew over a United States last night that they couldn’t even have comprehended in 1862,” said David W. Alberg, superintendent of NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, who was aboard the plane.

The Navy expects scores of relatives of those who served on the Monitor, including 21 descendants of some lost in the storm, to attend. Remains were first discovered by Navy divers when the turret was being recovered from 240 feet of water in 2002, nearly three decades after the wreck was found.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Juan M. Garcia, who was on hand to meet the plane, said: “It’s delivering on a commitment we make to every one of our sailors . . . you will to the maximum extent possible, you will be brought home . . . even if it takes a century and a half.”