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    New York National Guard remembers President Chester A. Arthur

    New York National Guard Honors President Chester Arthur

    Courtesy Photo | Major General Raymond Shields, commander of the New York Army National Guard; right,...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    MENANDS, N.Y. --In a short ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 5, the New York National Guard honored President Chester A. Arthur during a graveside ceremony in historic Albany Rural Cemetery here.

    Arthur, the 21st president of the United States, served from September of 1881 to March 1885. He died at age 57 in November of 1886.

    Major General Raymond Shields, the commander of the New York Army National Guard and Command Sgt. Major David Piwowarski, laid a wreath from President Donald Trump at Arthur’s elaborate grave designed by sculpture Ephraim Keyser and erected in 1889.

    The U.S. military lays wreaths from the current occupant of the White House at the graves of deceased presidents on the anniversary of their birth. Arthur was born on Oct. 5, 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont.

    “It’s an honor to be here today representing President Donald Trump to salute President Chester Arthur,” Shields said during a simple, short ceremony.

    The event opened as a color guard and party of dignitaries approached the grave through an Honor Cordon of 14 New York Army National Guard Soldiers to tunes from a bagpipe.

    Following an opening from Anthony Esposito, the vice president of the Albany Rural Cemetery Committee, a military chaplain delivered a prayer, followed by remarks from Shields.

    A small group of 20 people, along with three TV cameras and two newspaper photographers, watch the event.

    Arthur became president on Sept. 19, 1881 when President James Garfield died from a bullet wound suffered at the hands of an assassin on July 2, 1881. Arthur attended Union College in Schenectady for both his bachelors and advanced degrees and lived in Hoosick, New York.

    He worked as a lawyer and was active in Republican politics and also served as the Judge Advocate General of the New York National Guard, then known as the New York State Militia. In this capacity he drafted a military law which restructured the organization.

    During the Civil War Arthur served as the Quartermaster General of New York. He was responsible for equipping and transporting 70,000 New York volunteers who served in 70 Union Army regiments during the two years he held that job.

    From 1871 to 1878 Arthur was the chief Customs Inspector in New York City and the leader of the "Stalwart" wing of the Republican Party. He was elected vice president during the election of 1880.

    During his time in office he promoted the first federal Civil Service Law, oversaw the implementation of the first law governing immigration, and organized an international conference to that set the prime meridian-used for determining a place on earth and for time keeping-as running through Greenwich, England.

    Arthur, who had been in poor health during the latter part of his term, died on Nov. 19, 1886 of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a year after leaving office, and is buried next to his wife Ellen who died of pneumonia in 1880.

    Organized in 1844, Albany Rural Cemetery was designed to be a park, as well as a resting place for the dead. Many other famous New Yorkers and Americans are buried there besides Arthur and many of the grave sites are marked by works of art.



    Date Taken: 10.05.2017
    Date Posted: 10.05.2017 15:12
    Story ID: 250742
    Location: MENANDS , NY, US 

    Web Views: 171
    Downloads: 0