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Note: Mr. Cummings Passed away in 2008 and is buried next to his wife at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Mr. Alfred Cummings

 

I am a West Virginian at heart, although I only lived there the first 16 years of my life.  My high school education was interrupted at that age, but I managed to get a high school GED and then a BS degree from the University of Maryland, by taking evening classes over a seven year period on Okinawa, Fort Myer, the Pentagon and Paris, France.

I served in the Seabees during WWII and was discharged in 1946.  I enlisted in the army in 1948 and retired in 1969.  All of my army service was as a CID Agent (investigator, polygraph examiner and supervisor of those duties).  I served in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Germany, France, Korea, Japan and Okinawa.  After this service I worked for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, D.C., first in plant security and then as head of the Personnel Security Branch.  I, as the saying goes, retired in 1984.

The first time that I visited Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) was during the winter of 1945 when I came to Washington, D.C. after a tour with the Seabees in the Pacific.  I was very impressed and would go there from time to time.  During 1959-63 I visited ANC frequently while stationed at Fort Myer, VA.  For a year or so my family occupied government quarters, California Hall, on south post, Fort Myer, which today is part of ANC.  As a matter of fact my wife is buried just several hundred yards from where we had lived.

After my wife died in 1990 I took several photographs of her grave site and headstone.  I then took some photos of the headstones of some old friends I had served with.  This progressed to taking photos of the headstones of well known military persons.

While talking to John Tyree of the Visitors Center, ANC, he told me that visitors to ANC frequently asked for photos of individual headstones in the cemetery, which they did not have.  He was of the opinion that visitors to the cemetery would benefit from my photographs.  This started me on the path to taking more photographs.

Most of the photographs that I have taken are at the Visitors' Center.  They are arranged in photo albums, such as Medal of Honor recipients, Living Memorials, and under a general heading:

As an ex CID Agent, I also included all the military police officers and CID Agents I could identify.

Taking these photographs has given me a good feeling of providing a much needed, and appreciated, service to visitors at ANC.

Each time that I visit ANC it is somewhat like my first visit.  I see things that I had not seen before.  I am really appreciative of the effort and hard work of the cemetery employees and contractors in keeping the cemetery in such great shape.  It is almost unbelievable how they are able to handle the large number of burials they do, with efficiency and great respect for all.

Alfred L. Cummings

 

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Copyright 1999-2014 by HomeOfHeroes.com
     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003

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Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

 

Copyright 1999-2014 by HomeOfHeroes.com
     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner