NAFCA’s First Artifact

Words by Scott B. Ruete, USCG Retired, Arlington Project Chairman

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NAFCA’s first artifact came from a project fence job we did at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) in April of 2012.

We were removing 600’ l/ft of 70-year-old, 6’ galvanized chain link fence from the right side of the ANC entrance. I had seen this large cut-off limb of a cherry tree the year before and decided that when we removed this section, something should be done with it.

NAFCA Artifact photo 1

We cut it out carefully and it sat in my garage for a few months. My wife said to do something with it or get rid of it, so I brought it in to our shop and our welder, Andrew, and I decided to frame this out in aluminum.  Then I thought about framing the whole thing out in cedar and putting an American flag behind it.

NAFCA Artifact Photo 2

The two bronze medallions were given to me by the staff at ANC as well as the casings from a 21 gun salute from an actual funeral held at ANC. These were then installed by Andrew to finish the piece and the rest is history.

It is a very attractive piece that we bring to expos and other events as well as to each year’s annual Arlington Nation Cemetery service project. It draws a lot of interest and makes me very proud to explain how it became. It will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

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