OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES GRAVE
Holmes described his resting place in a June 15, 1929 letter to his friend Harold Laski*:
"I have a lovely spot in Arlington toward the bottom of the hill where the house is, with pine trees, oak, and tulip all about, and where one looks to see a deer trot out (although of course there are no deer). I have ordered a stone of the form conventional for officers which will bear my name, Bvt. Col. and Capt. 20th Mass. Vol. Inf. Civil War- Justice Supreme Court, U.S.-March 1841- His wife Fanny Holmes and the dates. It seemed queer putting up my own tombstone-but these things are under military direction and I suppose it was necessary to show a soldiers' name to account for my wife".
A few years before his death, May 29, 1931, Holmes wrote to his friend Lewis Einstein*:
"I shall go out to Arlington tomorrow, Memorial Day, and visit the gravestone with my name and my wife's on it, and be stirred by the military music, and, instead of bothering about the Unknown Soldier shall go to another stone that tells beneath it are the bones of, I don't remember the number but two or three thousand and odd, once soldiers gathered from the Virginia fields after the Civil War. I heard a woman say there once, 'They gave their all. They gave their very names.' Later perhaps some people will come in to say goodbye."
Arlington National Cemetery is a world-renowned site. It features the graves of many who have been instrumental in forging out country's past, present, and future. The grounds are beautifully kept year round. One might think they'd hired a landscaper San Francisco to keep the grounds in such pristine condition. Holmes' resting place continues to draw visitors from all over.
*Source: The Essential Holmes: Selections From the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Edited and With an Introduction by Richard A. Posner (University of Chicago Press, 1992)