Arlington National Cemetery, USS Maine Memorial, Arlington, Arlington County, VA
Significance: "Remember the Maine" was the popular call of the "yellow" or sensational press, Congress, and private citizens throughout the United States as they rallied around the tragedy of 1898. The sinking of the Maine in Havana propelled America into the Spanish-American War and into the imperialist politics of the last decades of the nineteenth century that set the stage for the Great War of 1914. To remember the Maine, Americans enthusiastically mustered for war against Spain and temporarily suspended regional differences in the name of a common cause. Their battle-cry was for retribution for the USS Maine disaster, as well as a common belief in America's manifest destiny that gave her the right to covet Spanish holdings in the western hemisphere. The USS Maine was not memorialized nationally until May of 1910 when, again due to public pressure, Congress turned its attention to the ship. From 1910 to 1912, the remains of the ship were re-examined, the ship towed to sea and given a proper burial in international waters, and the last of her deceased crew interred in Arlington National Cemetery. The monument, made of the main mast, was a product of this new effort to "remember" the Maine without the bias of greed and racism. It recognizes that those less than idyllic forces propelling America into war with Spain do not diminish the travesty that was the 1898 explosion, a disaster in its time of the magnitude of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N701
Survey number: HABS VA-1348-D
Building/structure dates: 1910-1915 Initial Construction
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 14000146