Why is Maureen O’Hara Buried in Arlington?

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Scene from "McClintock" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara

Scene from “McClintock” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara

Rest In Peace, Maureen O’Hara, 1920-2015

Maureen O’Hara, beautiful talented actress, passed away on October 24th, 2015. The news stated that her burial is to be in Arlington National Cemetery. Many people, including this author, wondered why she would be buried there, since she was not a veteran. First, let’s learn a bit about this lady and her acting career.

‘Tis Herself: An Autobiography

About Maureen

Maureen O’Hara (born Maureen Fitzsimmons in Ranelagh, County Dublin, Ireland, on August 17, 1920,) became an actress. She knew from a young age it was what she wanted. Her timing was perfect  because Technicolor was invented and her flaming red hair lit up the screen radiantly. She became known as the Technicolor Queen. She was a stand out for that and so much more, because she learned her craft well, with over 50 films to her credit.


O’Hara was a frequent and beloved co-star with John Wayne in movies we consider classics; “McClintock,” “The Quiet Man,” “The Wings of Eagles,” “Rio Grande,” and “Big Jake.” But she was a star in her own right in such films as the Christmas season favorite, “Miracle on 34th Street,” with John Payne and Natalie Wood, “The Foxes of Harrow,” opposite Rex Harrison, “The Forbidden Street” with Dana Andrews and more.

Why Is She Buried At Arlington?

Given this information, we wondered why she qualified to be buried in Arlington? Here’s why;  Her third and last husband was a former Brigadier General in the United States Air Force and he was buried in Arlington. He was also a former Pan Am pilot, founder and head of Antilles Air Boats in the U.S. Virgin Islands. When he passed away in a plane crash, she took over as CEO and president of the airlines, becoming the first woman president of a scheduled airline in the United States. When she died she qualified to be buried in Arlington beside him as the spouse of a military man. There’s no glamor Hollywood site for this lady, she wanted to be where her heart was, with her husband and that’s where she shall reside.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Rest in peace, Maureen, you gave us many hours of delightful entertainment. You will be missed, but we’ll always have you with us in the legacy of your films.



Nancy Hardin is a highly experienced writer and author. A retired journalist, she is also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother with a wealth of experience in many fields. In addition, she is a retiree veteran, having spent many years in the Women’s Army Corps. She is also an experienced ghostwriter and you can see more about her skills at the The Writers’Door. YOu can visit Nancy’s website here and discover more of her work at this site.


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Author: Nancy Hardin

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  1. I always thought that only members of the US military could be buried at Arlington. It is only right that spouses should be buried beside their loved ones.

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  2. Nancy, I’ve always wondered how spouses felt about not being able to be buried with their heroic husbands–because I assumed that only veterans had the honor of an Arlington burial. Thank you for setting me straight.

    But it’s my heart that is touched by this story most, for with very few words, you’ve evoked a bittersweet tale of love, romance, loss and reunification in death I did not expect to find.

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