USS Monitor Sailors’; Remains to be Buried With Honors
Forensic anthropologists at Louisiana State University created 3-D clay facial reconstructions and computer-generated images of the faces of the two unknown USS Monitor Sailors.
Members of a Virginia family whose ancestors fought against each other in the American Civil War will be among the thousands to gather Friday in Arlington, Virginia for somber ceremonies honoring sailors lost when one of history’s most innovative warships, the USS Monitor, sank in 1862.
The observance will include a funeral service for two unknown sailors who died when the Monitor went down off the coast of North Carolina. The sailors’ remains, recovered when part of the iconic warship was raised in 2002, will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
The Monitor was the U.S. Navy’s first ironclad warship, marking a turning point in military history.
Michael Luchs, an assistant professor at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia who will attend the ceremony with his three sons, said the realization that he is descended from brothers who were on opposing sides during the bloody conflict makes him feel “more wholly American.”
Luchs’s ancestor, James Bryan of Savannah, Georgia, served in the Confederate Army. James Bryan’s brother, William Bryan, was a crewman aboard the Monitor.
William Bryan was one of 16 sailors lost when the ship sank on December 31, 1862.
After 140 years they get to be buried with military honors. Awesome.