An interfaith coalition of religious and veterans groups will conduct a special service honoring America's World War II defenders and liberators at Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Although the service was prompted by and planned to coincide with President Reagan's controversial visit to a West German cemetery where Nazi SS troopers are buried, "there will be no mention of the Bitburg visit" at the service here, said the Rev. Clark Lobenstein of the Interfaith Conference, one of the sponsors of the event.
The service here is one of at least 20 similar events scheduled tomorrow, planned independently in cities from coast to coast, including Richmond and Baltimore. "It really was a groundswell from the grass roots," Lobenstein said.
He added that while some of the events in other cities are planned to protest the Bitburg visit, the service here will "be more positive."
The ceremony at Arlington, to be held in the Old Amphitheater, will include trooping the colors and display of the flags of more than a dozen U.S. Army brigades that took part in liberating German concentration camps at the end of World War II.
The service, which will include music by the U.S. Army Band, is intended to honor "both the liberated and the liberators," Lobenstein said. Area clerics and leaders of veterans groups will offer prayers and the ceremony will conclude with laying a wreath and floral tribute.
Shuttle buses will operate from the parking area to the site of the ceremony.
Cooperating in the event here, in addition to the Interfaith Conference, are the Jewish Community Council and Jewish and Roman Catholic veterans' groups.