Jewish Burials at Arlington National Cemetery
The family of the late Kenneth Poch has given the
society his extensive research on the Jewish soldiers buried at Arlington
Inspired by the 1992 book by Mel Young "Where They Lie: Someone Should
Say Kaddish," Ken took it upon himself to visit the graves, say Kaddish
(the Jewish prayer for the dead) and place a small smooth stone on the
headstone as a sign that someone had visited the grave. These visits
caused him to inquire as to how many Jewish soldiers were actually buried
at the famous national cemetery. As of January, 2008, there are more than
330,000 total graves at Arlington, but it was not until after World War I
that it was permitted to include a religious symbol on the headstones. The
headstones of many Jewish soldiers bear a Star of David, but not all.
His life brought to an early end by Lou Gehrig's disease; Kenneth Poch spent
his last 10 years as the self-appointed historian of the Jewish soldiers buried
at Arlington National Cemetery. The research donated to JGSGW includes the
meticulously organized photos, letters, surveys and other items gathered by Ken.