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100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: November 11, 2021

On November 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding presided over the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The monument honored fallen U.S. servicemen from WWI whose remains were unidentified. The ceremony took place the same day the country was celebrating the newly declared Armistice Day holiday.

During WWI, the chaos of battle resulted in scores of unidentified dead servicemen. The creation of the memorial, also known as the Tomb of the Unknowns, was proposed in 1920 by New York Congressman and WWI veteran Hamilton Fish. Both Great Britain and France had dedicated similar monuments in 1920, and in March 1921, Congress approved the plan to build America’s tribute to unidentified fallen soldiers.

Construction begins on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 1921

Officials wanted to choose one unknown serviceman and reinter him in a tomb at Arlington. To select that soldier, the bodies of four unidentified U.S. servicemen were exhumed from different American military cemeteries in France in October 1921. They were placed in identical caskets and brought to the city hall in Châlons-sur-Marne, France, where American war hero Sgt. Edward F. Younger selected one casket. With the backdrop of a dignified ceremony, officials placed the casket on board the USS Olympia to begin the journey home, arriving at the Washington Navy Yard on November 9, 1921.

After arrival, the Unknown lay in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, where on November 10, some 90,000 visitors waited in line to pay their respects. On the morning of November 11, a large funeral procession proceeded from the Capitol to Arlington. President Harding, former President Woodrow Wilson, and General John J. Pershing were among the dignitaries that participated in the procession.

Remains of the Unknown Soldier are lowered into the ground in 1921

After reaching Arlington, Americans across the country observed two minutes of silence. President Harding gave a speech and bestowed the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross on the Unknown Soldier; other nations also bestowed their highest awards. The funeral ended with the playing of Taps and a 21-gun salute.

At the time of burial, the tomb had yet to be completed and consisted of a simple marble slab. In 1932, the marble structure that now stands was installed. The tomb bears the inscription, “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.”

The tradition of guarding the tomb began in 1926, and in 1937, soldiers transitioned to a 24/7 presence at the memorial. The changing of the guard is a moving ceremony and takes place every 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the season.

In 1958, unknown soldiers representing the fallen of WWII and the Korean War were laid to rest at the monument. In 1984, a soldier from the Vietnam War was also interred in the tomb. However, through DNA testing, the body was positively identified in 1998 and returned to his family. The crypt designated for the Vietnam War Unknown remains vacant, and in 1999, it was rededicated to honor all missing U.S. service members from the Vietnam War.

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we honor all who have served and sacrificed for their country. Search our archives for records on the military heroes in your life on Fold3® today.


  1. Mary Deet says:

    Remember visiting the Tomb on my Senior Trip and how inspired I was. It brings tears to your eyes to know how many were actually buried that were unknown to our country. When we looked upon the grave of John F. Kennedy, we were again moved tremendously. We graduated in 1965 and he had been assassinated in 1963. Now the Country doesn’t even remember this man for the great man he was, nor do they remember Abraham Lincoln. or President McKinley – all who were assassinated in this country. Yet we remember Martin Luther King, have a month dedicated to Black People. I’ve never been prejudiced, but it brings on tears knowing that the presidents of our Great Nation aren’t important enough to remember every year. Makes me wonder if the kids in school even know who they are, or the fact that they were assassinated. If anyone has never visited the tomb of the unknown, you should do so, as it will remind you of why this Country is as great as it is. I’ve seen the replica of the Viet Nam Memorial and moves me in the same way. My Dad was in WWII and would cry each Christmas, remembering the men pass by in truckloads – our soldiers who had been killed. I asked him one Christmas what upset him so and he told me what he was thinking of.

    • David says:

      Amen to that.
      From an Australian Vietnam Veteran.

    • Liz says:

      Not to mention all of the gullible masses who’ve been brainwashed into thinking the BHO was some kind of special saint just because of his color. This is racism, just like any other. So many people have fooled themselves into thinking that their own nature is somehow different from everyone else’s and it’s not. Anyone is susceptible to being a racist if we don’t guard our hearts and minds.

    • Charles Eyster says:

      Well written and accurately thought through. You echo my thoughts and feelings. I am a 33 year veteran with multiple deployments. I’m embarrassed at how our country has forgotten those who sacrificed to give us our rights and freedoms. Each generation has had a war to remember for decades now. As a former middle school teacher, I honestly am baffled at how little respect our youth has for themselves, their country, their environment and others. Without any degree or level of understanding what respect means, greatly hampers any comprehension of our history.

    • Pat says:

      In February, there is a day to honor Abraham Lincoln and all past Presidents. It is celebrated the third Monday in February. It used to be a day to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but in 1968, Congress designated it as Presidents’ Day under the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act”. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not fall into that category, but he did more to ensure ALL citizens were treated equally than some past Presidents.

    • Barbara Phillips says:

      All who made America What it is today should have a holiday especially Dr.Martin Luther King Jr he surely deserves it for all the HELL he endured Never Forget That President Day is recognized and Honored

    • Joanna Edmonds says:

      My father was in WWII and when I was little I remembered that every time Taps was played he cried. I didn’t understand why but when I got older I understood why. I visited the Memorial in D.C. and saw the changing of the guards. They were both awesome. I saw the Vietnam Wall and it brought me to tears. It does remind one of how brave our fathers were to go fight. We should not let any American be raised without knowing this.

    • Jim L says:

      “I’ve never been prejudiced”

      But apparently you are now. Everyone remembers Lincoln, Kennedy, Washington, et al. Why you had to veer into how you feel MLK gets special treatment mixed in with your memories of the memorials to others who have given their lives for our country is beyond me. February is Black History Month. It’s also National Bird Feeding Month and American Heart Month, but I doubt you knew that. April is Arab American Heritage Month AND Confederate History Month, commemorating those who took up arms against the USA. Maybe you should direct your ire at those groups.

    • Barbara N Masters says:

      Thank you.

    • Alill says:

      Martin Luther KingJr. was honored because of his work to assure that all men received justice and equality. He received the Nobel Peace Prize because he believed in non violence. I too am saddened, because of the responses that I have read that feel that MLK doesn’t deserve a monument. With all of the monuments in Washington that are dedicated to those so called heroes of the Confederacy, who lost the Civil War, this one statue of MLK stands as a tribute to the contributions of Black people who were brought to this country as slaves and drove the economy of this country for 100 years. I too have tears as to when racism will end.

    • Cindy says:

      I agree with you!
      This Country has forgotten who it’s “HERO’S are.
      Those are our Presidents who are being forgotten and our war Heroes, the leaders of these Wars like the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, WWI and WWII,
      Vietnam, Gulf War! These are the ones we should be Honoring!
      Our priorities are so messed up in our Country!
      We have children here who are starving, have no shoes or a decent place to sleep and yet we pay football players these astronomical amounts of money!
      Teachers are heroes as well!
      We are in trouble because of the Leadership in Washington and the Leaderships of local government as well!
      Oh please, we must come together because a Country who prays together stays together!!

    • Debra S Rheuark says:

      This is well said. Christians are a declining group. We have do many children, seniors and disabled citizens going hungry on a daily basis. Even worse are the many men and who served our country with honor are homeless, quiet a few who have mental and emotional issues received while fighting for our country. The fat politicians wear $1,000+ suits, eat meals in expensive restaurants and on fact finding missions
      when their attention should be focused on needs here at home.

  2. Willis C Thomas,. Marion, Ohio, home of W G Harding says:

    President W G Harding commissioner of Indian Affairs, Charles H Burke, was instrumental making arrangements extending an invitation to a group of American Indian Chiefs to Washington D C for the dedication at Arlington National Cemetery. The overhead picture shows Chief Plenty Coups standing to the left of the tomb. He was selected by his Indian Brothers to represent all American Indians at the dedication. The delegation included: Chief Plenty Coups, John Frost, Stranger Horse, Amos Red Owl, and Clement Whirlwind Solider. Chief Plenty Coups was ask to bring his finest regalia to be placed on the sarcophagus. The chief was not to have to say anything. Placing his staff and war bonnet, he proceeded to rendered an impeccable speech in the Crow language.

    • Lucy M says:

      Wow! I had no idea about this. Thank you for sharing.


      More American Citizen-Indians (Native Americans, if you will) have served in our military than any other single ethnic or racial group of Americans and markedly so during our wars.

    • Cheryl Ross says:

      Since nowadays we so often made changes to the names of groups of people to reflect reality, I wish the designation of “Native Americans” would become permanently ingrained in our society. That reflects the reality. I know lots of people don’t like changing things to be “politically correct”, but “Indians” is so far from the truth that I think that changing it is justified.

    • Martin Briscoe says:

      I have been to a couple of talks by a local historian about the connections between the Nez Percé and MacDonalds of Glencoe. I think at one talk he referred to them as “Indians”, someone asked if he should be saying “Native American”.

      He replied that on a visit to the Nez Percé in the US, he asked one of their elders how they like to be addressed. He was told that after the years of genocide, confinement in concentration camps etc. an Italian sailor being unsure of his location hundreds of years ago was of little importance so it did not bother them what name was used.

  3. Mike Sullivan says:

    I have attended the Arlington Cemetery and always stand in awe and silent respect for the interred. We owe these veterans more than we know for their dedication and ultimate sacrifice. As a retired veteran I always have a tear and offer a salute.

  4. Tom Helmantoler says:

    My college roommate’s younger brother was a Tomb Guard and also said he, at times, did as many as five funerals a day at Arlington Cemetery during the Vietnam War. Seeing the Tomb is a very solemn and moving experience, including the changing of the Guard.

    A side note. Over half of the graves of men killed in the Civil War are unidentified, since most didn’t carry identification.

    • Wes Weise says:

      Very true. I recently visited the CSA cemetery at the Manassas Battlefield. They somehow were able to lay out the graves by state, but only 2 out of the 500 or so they were able to find were identified. They were initially buried (or not) where they fell without any effort at marking the graves as to the occupant. Sometimes the dead were identified before burial-by the side still in possession of the battlefield anyway- for company records/casualty reports, but no effort was made to have any sort of durable ID on the bodies before burial. Whatever paper documents that they still had in pockets that might provide an identity was long gone by the time a proper cemetery was established and the remains reburied after the war. The Union dead were gathered up and moved up to the new Arlington National Cemetery much quicker, so some of them were identified. Nothing was done for the CSA dead until well after the war. Thousands of soldiers from both sides remain in undiscovered graves in the various Civil War Battlefields to this day.

    • Billy T. says:

      Thanks for bringing up the Civil War more soldiers died in the Civil War than all of the other wars put together and then just think about it it was American Against American so sad 750,000 in four years. In July 1863 more than 50,000 died in three days at Gettysburg. Thanks for the article and thanks to everyone that posted . I’m 56 years old and my three kids know about The tomb of the unknown soldier end of the Civil War of course all the wars really and my grandkids are gonna learn to I got for boys can’t wait to teach them

  5. Sharon Haywood says:

    Bless his heart!
    At Ease Solider Rest In Peace!

    The Haywood Family Bastrop Co, Texas

  6. Douglas Stever says:

    About 20 years ago after the WW II memorial was dedicated my father along with 78 other vets were chosen from the Sacramento area to visit Washington D.C. For 3 days we had the chance to visit all of the memorials along with Arlington cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Solders was like no other experience I ever had. Some years later I had the chance to read “Sacred Duty”. It helped explain what visiting the Tomb was all about.

  7. Joseph Wilson says:

    The Tomb of the Unknow Soldier and the ceremony surrounding the tomb always struck me as representing all our brave soldiers who gave the last full measure of devotion in all our wars. An earlier post referenced the unknown from the Civil War. His number was close. A little more than 45% of all the Civil War soldiers in the many National Cemeteries are unknown. Many were initially buried in mass graves or a shallow grave on the battlefield without identification. When reinterred into the national cemeteries they were laid to rest under a stone simply marked “Unknown Soldier.” Nearly 150,000 Civil War dead are “Known but to God.” They marched off to war and vanished. Their identity was lost as if they had never lived.

  8. There were many wonderful times in our nation’s history when we celebrated our mutual respect and appreciation for those of all genders/persuasions without being “special”, except for our patriotism. It is sad that so few in our government today have never served in our nation’s uniform, and even fewer have put their lives on the line for the continuance of our great country. Those who gave their lives are surely turning over in their graves to know we have a “pinko Chinese commie”, “Vietnam era draft dodger”, “panty waist”, “bed wetter”, as president and most of Congress. I have made a point of visiting the gravesites of our fallen soldiers all over the world. Those nations where they remain intered are reverent of our mutual sacrifice and share in our hard earned success.

    • John Mcmurray says:

      Mr. Connell,

      Please take your politics elsewhere. They are not appropriate here.

    • John Wilkinson says:

      Not to leave off the grandstand characters, a senile fart monger

    • SueLynn Sandifer says:

      Very well said. Thank you.

    • Paul Jones says:

      If you would take the time to do some research, you would find out that President Biden was in college at the time of The Vietnam War. If he is a draft dodger, so am I, and so are thousands of other young men. Going to college meant you were exempt from being drafted until you graduated. Besides, by the time the first draft lottery was held in 1969, he was already 27 years old. He was pretty much exempt by age, since the eligible draft birth dates only went back to around the year 1950. Even if had been eligible, his lottery number, like mine, was one that was never called due to where it was on the chart. He had asthma as a child, which exempted him due to health reasons. (Unlike President “Bone Spurs” Trump who was able to get out of the draft, probably because his father paid off a doctor! I have bone spurs for real, and have had them for 15 years. A simple $60.00 insert is all I need to keep the pain away.) He had also been married for 3 years and had a 10 month-old son. (I served my year of 1-A, even after my father died, leaving my mother with 3 children to raise and a dairy and hog farm to run. I carried my draft card in my wallet until it was barely legible.)

    • Shirley says:

      Very well said…
      I agree whole-heartedly!

    • Debra S Rheuark says:

      I agree. Sadly our country is divided by so many groups whose focus shouts, Me! Me! Me!

  9. Dr. Caroline Bell says:

    I remember taking the 9th grade history class students on the tour of historical places in and around Washington in 1980. The highlight of our tour was being allowed to place a wreath on the
    tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My students kept a daily log of our trip so that they could develop
    a narrative of their trip. I think every one of them said the placing of the wreath was the most memorable highlight of our trip. I know it was the highlight of the trip for me. I was lucky to be the 9th grade counselor for such great students.

  10. Lisa says:

    I don’t like the facts of bringing a body back out of it s place of rest but just for it being the 100th anniversary I think that they should try it you never know especially now that a lot of the unknowns don’t have to be unknown and don’t deserve to be unknown with the DNA test now they probably won’t even have to bring his body up I’m surprised they haven’t tried DNA on him anyway. They’re still could be a family out there that knows that this person is still out there as an unknown when he doesn’t have to be just a thought

  11. Hi,

    Some countries have marked the now empty graves of their unknown warriors in the original cemeteries abroad, e.g. in Europe. Did the US erect gravestones in the original cemeteries where their unknown warriors was exhumed from?

    FYI, Britain didn’t, but Australia, Canada and New Zealand did on the Western Front (WW1), i.e. in France and in Belgium. I’m not sure about Austria-Hungary, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia and numerous other countries.

    Thanks in anticipation

  12. Richard Salvatore Esposito says:

    Leftist Socialist Democrats that never Served their Country in the military, will they try and Cancel this Monument as well? Come 2022 the Leftist Liberal Marxists will be SHUT-DOWN!

    • Terry McCann says:

      Both my sons fought in the Iraq War – one of whom is a Democrat, the other a Republican. Lots of men who are Democrats have fought in lots of wars and some of them lost their lives. Let me ask you. What war did you fight in to keep America safe? If the answer is NONE, then you have NO right to make those stupid remarks. It’s people like you that give our country a bad name!

    • Sam Clarke says:

      I’m a Democrat and served on active duty for 8 years in Vietnam and East Asia . I obviously didn’t die, but I would have for my compadres and out of duty. I took the oath and I respect it. I loved “my guys”, and I cherish the memories. Arlington and The Wall bring tears. For all of this, I realize that I would fall into the DJ Trump category of “sucker”, and I’m proud of it.

  13. Arthur Olson says:

    Veterans Day is in two days. Remember, never forget. “Woke” can go straight to h Never Forget

  14. Terry McCann says:

    Both my sons are Veterans of the Iraq War and thank God they came home safely. My heart goes out to the families that lost their loved ones, wherever they served. When my husband and I were visiting Belgium we attended a Ceremony at the Menin Gate. This Ceremony is held ‘every day’ rain or shine to honor the fallen in World War 1 – those soldiers whose bodies were never recovered. Honestly, the tears ran down my face at this remarkable Ceremony. People from all over the world come there to pay their respects and some of them lay wreaths to honor past family members who died in that War. These are the men who are the true heroes – who gave their lives to keep us safe!

  15. Dave says:

    My mother and I witnessed the changing of the guard and discovered that there was nothing on the shoes to create the sound of the clicking heels and the marching. This was all done by the soldiers on this detail.

  16. Theresa Tindall says:

    I knew someone in the Honor Guard when I was in the USAR (1980-1987). Their uniforms, character, and appearance must be impeccable to be in the Honor Guard.

  17. Judge Mark Anderson says:

    Veterans Day is not a day for politics, no matter how strongly we may feel. Nor is it a day for responses as crude as those of which some complain. Back when my high school ROTC unit marched in the annual parade, it still was called Armistice Day. (I often forget and call it that even now.) Nevertheless, it always is a moving experience to visit Arlington and especially that tomb. In 1999, we visited Paris; and when I stood at the Arc and saw the grave of France’s unknown soldier, I felt compelled to salute. Mark. Colonel, retired, U.S. Army

  18. Jack Sullivan says:

    Visited years ago and was so moved I can’t describe it in words. So much respect you could hear a pin drop. In case you go be sure to visit Audie Murphy’s grave right across from the tomb. While he was the most decorated soldier from WWII, he is buried among the masses with the same simple white cross like every other hero in Arlington.

  19. VA Walter says:

    And I cried at most of the responses. Thank you all, whether you believe in service or believe in America.

  20. My airman brother was shot down on his first mission in WWII over Germany and vanished. My parents kept telling me he was alive and would return home. In 2000 I began a cold case investigation and was able to discover so many things about my brother, S/Sgt Eugene F. Darter, and his crew (4 of which I met) over the next decade. It was just miraculous to me to finally locate a then 17 year old Dutch boy on Texel Island, NL who saw my brother’s final minutes ( But we still have not located his remains! Given the brilliant way in which they randomly chose the Unknown Soldier from each war, that is a possibility that he is actually in Arlington as the WWII Unknown! So when I watch that beautiful ceremony, my family are thinking that this is Eugene we are honoring! Every family with an unknown should feel this way too, it makes it even more personal and sacred and important! See book for details of cold case investigation: Gone With The Wind, He Said, by M. I. Darter 2014

  21. LeeAnn Sandoval says:

    Thank you for posting this informative history of the memorial. I was fortunate to have visited it when I was a teen, but don’t recall ever knowing the history behind it in my 65 years. I am touched with pride and sadness at learning this new information. I want to share it with my family to honor Veteran’s this week. I love the 24/7 presence of soldiers protecting the unknown out of duty and respect.

  22. Betty G. says:

    I too visited The Tomb and witnessed the Changing of the Guard. It was an emotional day for me because I also visited the Vietnam Wall. I remember the precision of the guards as they solemnly marched back and forth and the sound of their shoes. My parents were married on Veterans Day in 1941. I was unaware that the Tomb is now 100 years old. Thanks for this wonderful article. May God bless America and all those who served in the military.

  23. Gloria Kirschner says:

    In my family 4 brothers served in WW2. My brother and cousins served in Korea and Vietnam. Our family was blessed and everyone came home safe. Reading other comments makes my heart ache regarding how the fallen and survivors have been forgotten. The schools don’t provide the background of the sacrifices paid by many for the freedom we have today. The parents have to do a better job to express to their children what Sacrifice truly is.

  24. Jim says:

    Remember the reasons why – I salute all who came to represent freedom paying the ultimate price. All nations all families we will remember.

  25. Michael Madaus says:

    How things have changed today. I’m a Vietnam Vet. I have been to the Tomb and watched the changing of the Guard. I have been to the wall. Took me 20 years to go, so glad I did. I have been to Arlington. All of these places brought me to tears. So many lives lost, so many wars, so many young people that no nothing of these places today. They are not given this information in schools today or in our services. They are more involved teaching Woke and CRT. Todays Generals and our Commander in Chief don’t care about those that served. Example; The President wants to give $450, 000 per person to alians that aren’t even American Citizens for being seperated from their parents at the border during the Trump Admin. Yet won’t even think of the Vets that have served their country and are living in a cardboard box under an expressway bridge or in a tent city because they are sick or disabled or vets that have had benifits taken away from them for some bullshit reason. God Bless All that have given their lives. God Bless all that are and have served for the Freedom of all Americans. God Bless America!! To All Vietnam Vets, something we didn’t get when we came home. WELCOME HOME!!!! LOVE YOU BROTHERS!!!

    • Cynthia says:

      This is a post to honor our military dead and our vets. Please don’t cheapen and dishonor it with these unnecessary political posts, they undercut everything our military members served to protect.

    • Debra S Rheuark says:

      Mr. Madaus,. thank you for serving our country during the Vietnam war. Your comments regarding how many veterans are homeless and are forgotten while aliens are given all kinds of benefits for free are very relevant. My ex-husband served aboard a submarine where close watch was kept on coast of Vietnam. One time sub left and came back with a SEAL team ordered to go to aid of a SEAL team that had been ambushed. Due to his expertise with guns, my husband was asked to go with SEAL team in need of an extra man. My husband(we were not married at time) later told me that when SEAL team had arrived in area where ambush occurred, all members if ambushed team were either dead or dying. My husband went to one man not yet dead and discovered to his shock that this man was one of his high school classmates. This man died in my future husband’s arms. I was a proud Navy wife for 27 years. Go with God, Mr Madaus.,

  26. David McNeill says:

    I was fortunate enough to visit Australia on ANZAC day in 2018. Every town has a dawn service and a parade. The patriotism there is truly amazing. All towns have a monument to honor all the fallen service members from that town. One town that only had two or three houses left in it had a memorial that listed four brothers that were killed in action. The war took a terrible toll on the tiny little town. We also visited the War Memorial at Canberra. I wish that our country had more patriotism. (I did my time in the Navy Seabees and served in Vietnam)



    • Richard D'Arrigo says:

      Thank you Roberta for your message. Tributes to those who gave their lives fighting to preserve our freedom, or to extend the benefits of freedom to other people elsewhere, are always appropriate. They should never be sullied with vicious political jeers, like those given by a few who have commented on this article. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to visit the Tomb of The Unknowns a few years ago, as one of dozens of veterans who came to D.C. that day on an Honor Flight from Albany, N.Y. One of our group laid a wreath at the Tomb as a tribute from all of us. It was definitely the high point of a day full of wonderful moments. Richard D’Arrigo, Capt., USAF (retired)

    • Francis mcLaughlin says:

      Well said semper fi

  28. Adrienne says:

    Look at the men digging the memorial. I wonder what they were paid or if they were ever thanked. As a primary teacher I always noted the history of our holidays and the history of our country, good and bad. I thank God I live in a democracy. I honor the office of president no matter the party affiliation. It can change every four years. My great grandfather fought in the Union army. My father was in the Navy in WWII. He was awarded a Purple Heart. If you teach each of your children to respect all people and you treat your children with respect our country will endure.

  29. The Rev. David Railton M.C. is buried near here, he came up with the original idea of the Unknown Warrior in 1920 after having buried many unidentified bodies. The Union Flag that he used many times in France hangs over the grave of Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

  30. Terry Powers says:

    I visited the tomb yesterday, 9 November 2021. As part of a special remembrance, individuals were allowed to place flowers at the tomb, getting closer than has been allowed. It was an honorable and moving occasion, you had to register and get a ticket (crowd control) and when you arrived you waited in line for a little more than an honor, People had come from far away to be able to participate, I only had a short ride from my home locally. There were flowers being given out to all the participants to lay at the tomb. When the time came you approached on the path that the sentinels normally use on their guard mount, but the sentinel continued his guard, only on the other side of the tombs. You approached singly or in a small group to lay your flower. You had a moment on your own to pay your respects, and then moved on. It was a moving experience, and as they said, a once in a lifetime opportunity. LEST WE FORGET.

  31. Robert Tehan says:

    My brother-in-law, Mark Pantier was in the unit that guarded the tomb of the unknown soldier. He has passed away but I can remember him as he did his duty in funeral processions at Arlington. He was in the army and I saw him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial along with others of that unit holding their state flags. He was from Arkansas and held that states flag. It was an honor for him to serve in that capacity. When I think of Arlington and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I will always think about Mark doing his duty there.

  32. Kevin Fenton says:

    With respects to all who have given their lives for there Country I salute you. I am a British Army Veteran, Medic who have seen some horrible things from being in the Falklands on a ship that was bombed, to scud attacks in Saudi Arabia, to treating bomb blasts and gun shot wounds in operating theatres in Northern Ireland, with terrible results. Me and my brother, ex- Royal Navy, went to the Cemeteries in the Somme, France, in 2019 as our Great Grandad, who was Royal Garrison Artillery, not far from Albert, where he was buried. Our Great Grandad had a headstone with his service details and the Artillery badge, but we noticed that some were to the unknown soldier with at least 2 bodies were buried in the same grave as with explosions some bodies were mixed together, which it was very sad. The visit was a very moving experience for us. On Sunday I will be laying a wreath in my local village from a Church I am a member of. RIP to all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

  33. Cheryl Alcorn says:

    Visited D.C. with my mother. Arlington National Cemetery is the only reason I was able to convince her to go with me. She is from a military family with all seven of her brothers having served, six during WW II and the youngest just after the war ended. The moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns (as it is now called) was a highlight of the trip for her and an emotional reminder to all citizens of the United States that there was/is/will always be a high cost for our freedom.

  34. James Taono says:

    My Family (Father, Uncles and Friends) in Hawaii served in WWll with the Japanese American or Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Several of them who fell during the War are exhumed at Arlington. Each teary after the war they would meet to memorialize their fallen Brothers in arms including all other US Regiments and the Texas’ Regiment that they saved in the Black Forest in Germany. This Memorial gathering continued until all members passed on. They as all US soldiers believed that Freedom is not Free!!!
    I say “God Bless America” !

    • Robert Granados says:

      On November 9, 2017, the Lincoln High School Alumni Association (Los Angeles) celebrated Veterans Day and dedicated a memorial monument to our school’s WWII Medal of Honor recipient, Sadao S. Munemori. It was a collaboration between the American Legion post named for him in nearby Highland Park and the Alumni Association of Lincoln High. Munemori’s selfless act of heroism was always mentioned at the school’s annual JROTC awards ceremony, so that everyone would become aware of his legacy. Alumni veterans of our school, the Japanese community from Little Tokyo, the American Legion, Munemori’s niece and a surviving member of the 442nd Infantry Regiment that served in WWII, were there to honor our hero whose monument was well overdue…lest we forget.

  35. Alesia Weiss says:

    Can we do a dna test on his remains?

  36. Karen Keefer Plut says:

    My father served in WWII, first in Honolulu as a trombonist in the Army band – no doubt a pretty sweet gig!. But then, as the war heated up, was retrained as a medic and served in some of the bloodiest battles in the South Pacific, pulling the injured and dead off of the battlefield. Easily one of the worst jobs, but one he was proud to do.

    I have been to the Tomb several times, and it is always a very moving experience. However the last time I visited, a group of younger “tourists” went beyond the rope barricade at the end of the guard’s path to get their all-important “selfies.” I think they honestly expected him to alter his path to accommodate them. He didn’t. He stood his ground, marched right toward them, and without breaking stride, barked a very loud order for them to clear the path and get back where they were supposed to be. Everyone around me had to smirk at the speed at which those idiots did what they were ordered to do. I only wish it would have been appropriate to applaud, as all of us would have surely done so!

  37. Marianne says:

    November 11th is veterans day..honor all veterans no matter where or who they are. POILITCS SHOULD NOT BE DISCUSSED…HAVE RESPECT!

  38. I’m sure you know that the grave for the Vietnam Vet is completely empty. If you tell a Vietnam Vet this they will reply “that figures”

  39. Bob Webb says:

    My family has served this country in wars since the revolutionary war. My 4th Great grandfather was the first. My second Great grandfather served in the infantry during the civil war (Union side). My Uncle was lost at sea on the USS cyclops in WW1. My father served over 20 years and, fought 7 major battles in WW2. I was an only son and was not required to serve but, enlisted in the Air Force during the Viet Nam war (1967-1971). I will never forget the sight of body bags and, the smell of death on the planes I worked on to return them home . It still brings tears to my eyes today. The Viet Nam war was the first war that returned our dead soldiers home to be buried on US soil. My only son served during the Iraq war. God bless our military and, the USA.

  40. Cynthia S Wilson says:

    My grandfather was one of the men working for Yule Marble Company when they quarried the stone for the tomb in 1931 in Marble, Colorado. My mother was born in a tiny worker’s house there in Marble on the day they finally brought the marble up.

  41. Sandy M. says:

    My Father served in the Army and was a POW-MIA for 27 Months in the Korean War. He survived but suffered with life-long breathing issues and PTSD as he had Tuberculosis untreated during his time in captivity. My Father-in-Law served in the Navy during the Korean War. Both have gone home to be with the Lord. Now, my youngest son is planning on serving in the Army, post college graduation in 2022. He’s in the ROTC now and will go active duty as a second lieutenant. I have mad respect for all that have served, past, present, and future, and I want to thank everyone that has posted here that has chosen to serve and protect our freedoms. God Bless You All and Thank You. God Bless America! Be Kind Always!

  42. Ron Oliver says:

    My family has served in nearly all of this country’s wars since the Revolution (and still
    serve) and my oldest brother is buried at Arlington. I remember veterans every day but am especially gratified for this day.
    With hesitancy, I include an aside here. I have studied all political and economic systems and, as a true Republican who is not impressed by Biden, I am confident he assuredly is NOT a pinko Marxist. He would need to be to the left of Bernie Sanders, who although sadly misguided in my view, is also not a pinko Marxist. Nor am I bothered by the fact he went to college instead of serving. All three of my brothers enlisted in the Marines while I went to college until drafted half way through a masters program, thereafter serving in the army. In addition, as a survivor myself I feel a certain kinship with him because his son Bo died from a cancer that may well have been the result of his service in Iraq, as was the case of a friend’s son (and others as well, it would seem from news accounts). He deserves our respect at least at that level.

  43. Denise W says:

    I came drone a very atriotic family both my grandfathers were in WWI and my father enlisted into WWII the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed he continued to go into the Army even though he didn’t have to as the plant he worked was doing work to help the War but his dad my immigrant grandfather said that was his duty as we were Americans! My ex husband was in Vietnam and our son was in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan we are blessed that all family came home in an upright chair I de corate my house for each American Holidays of red,whit and blue I am saddened by our government’s non actions or neglect actions against our Military;; like when BHO tried to take all the freemedical care away from the military That was rediculous. I thank God that we have men courageous to fight for our country and their family we do need more patriotic and I’m sure is never mentioned in homes to day.

  44. Robert says:

    Confederate veterans are also considered American veterans under law signed by President Eisenhower in 1956. Before anyone starts chanting the tired old falsehoods of treason,slavery,and the big lie of white supremacy let me point out that the Southerners fought for the same ideals and against tyranny just as their grandfathers did in the Revolution. They deserve to be respected for their service and sacrifices as much as any American service member in any war in the history of our republic. Today is a day to honor ALL veterans.

    • Jim L. says:

      Fake news. That falsehood has been around on social media for awhile now. Not backed up by the facts. “No portion of the law appears to confer any privilege other than markers for graves of Confederate soldiers, nor does it grant Confederate soldiers status equal to those of veterans of the United States military. As of 1901, 482 individuals (not all soldiers) were already interred in the Confederate section of Arlington National Cemetery.

      In 1868, President Andrew Johnson pardoned Confederate soldiers, but did not grant them U.S. veteran status. Public Law 85-425 was passed 23 May 1958, entitling the widows of deceased Confederate soldiers (what few were left by 1958) to military pensions.
      The definition of “veteran,” as specified by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, does not include Confederate armed forces. Les’ A. Melnyk, chief of public affairs and outreach for the National Cemetery Administration, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, provided further clarification:

      “While federal law authorizes some benefits for former Confederates, such as the marking of unmarked graves of Confederate service members outside VA national cemeteries, this does not confer U.S. Veteran status for other VA benefits to those affected,” Melnyk said.”

      As far as your view of the causes of the war, the Southerners fought to preserve slavery, period, and a person’s “right” to own another person. I suggest you look at the VP of the Confederacy’s Cornerstone Speech. Read it carefully. He outlines the reasons behind the South’s secession/rebellion. The reason was quite clear among those who took up arms against the USA, their actual words, not the history rewrite that is so popular among the South’s apologists today.

    • Debra Rheuark says:


    • Jim L.
      No You are totally wrong. about Confederates being US Veterans-. This puts Confederates on the same level as soldiers from any other war. BTW “US Veteran” is not mentioned for them either

      A image of the law is found at––

      Here is a Transcription–

      72 STAT.] PUBLIC LAW 85-426-MAY 23, 1958 133

      Public Law 85-424
      AN ACT May 22, 1958
      To Increase the lending authority of the Export-Import Bank of Washington, [S.3149]
      and for other purposes.

      Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives of the
      United States of America in Congress assembled. That the Export- 68 Stat. 678.
      12 U S C 635d,
      Import Bank Act of 1945, as amended, is amended— 635e.
      (1) by striking out “$4,000,000,000.” from section 6 and insert-
      ing in lieu thereof “$6,000,000,000.”; and
      (2) by striking out “$5,000,000,000.” from section 7 and insert-
      ing in lieu thereof “$7,000,000,000.”.
      Approved May 22, 1958.

      Public Law 85-425
      AN ACT May 23, 1958
      To increase the monthly rates of pension payable to widows and former widows [H.R. 35ri
      of deceased veterans of the Spanish-American War, Civil War, Indian War,
      and Mexican War, and provide i)enslons to widows of veterans who served
      in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during
      the Civil War.

      Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives of the
      United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Veterans’ Veterans’ w i d –
      l:Jenefits Act of 1957 (Public Law 85-56) is amended: Pension in-
      (1) I n section 431, strike out the figure “$52.50” and insert the c r 71 ease.
      Stat. 106i, 107,
      figure “$65”. 38 U S C 2431,
      (2) In subsection 432 ( a ) , strike out the figure “$54.18” and insert
      the figure “$65″, and strike out the figure ^’$67.73” and insert the
      figure “$75’\
      (3) Section 432 is amended by adding at the end thereof the
      following new subsection:
      “(e) For the purpose of this section, and section 433, the term
      ‘veteran’ includes a person who served in the military or naval forces
      of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the
      term ‘active, military or naval service’ includes active service in such
      (4) I n section 433, strike out the figure ^’$48.77″ and insert the 2434. 38 U S C 2433,
      figure “$73.13”.
      (5) I n subsection 434 ( a ) , strike out the figure “$54.18” and insert
      the figure “$65”, and strike out the figure “$67.73” and insert the
      figure “$75”.
      (6) In section 435, strike out the figure “$48.77” and insert the 38 u s e 2435.
      figure “$73.13”.
      (7) In subsection 436 ( a ) , strike out the figure “$54.18” and insert 7t stat. io8.
      the figure “$65”, and strike out the figure “$67.73″ and insert the 243*7.” ^^^^’
      figure “$75”.
      (8) I n section 437, strike out the figure “$62.31” and insert the
      figure “$73.13”.
      (9) Immediately above section 411, insert the following: 7i stat. 105.


      “SEC. 410. The Administrator shall pay to each person who served
      in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America
      during the Civil W a r a monthly pension in the same amounts and
      subject to the same conditions as would have been applicable to such
      184 PUBLIC LAW 85-426-MAY 27, 1958 [72 S T A T .

      person under the laws in effect on December 31, 1957, if his service
      in such forces had been service in the military or naval service of the
      United States.”
      Effective date. SEO, 2. This Act shall be effective from the first day of the second
      calendar month following its enactment.
      Approved May 28, 1958.

      Notice the part that says “same Condition as Union forces.” It doesn’t matter what anyone from the VA says about his law, it was passed by Congress and signed into law by the POTUS, which I believe outranks anyone from the VA.

      Now as to your comment the Confederates were fighting for slavery. Prove it. That is nothing more than a lie. Give it your best shot

  45. Glenda says:

    My daddy was a horse soldier in Korea. My dad was in Panamal canel, my father in law was in island hoping campaign, my son signed up in high school to go to army and did boot camp but was never called up. My husband served in veit Nam and cane home 45 days before they sent him to Germany. So proud of our military background. Proud to be an American period.

  46. It might have missed abroad but there is a tradition in the UK that wedding bouquets of members of the Royal Family are placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. It was started by the late Queen Mother who placed her own wedding bouquet there in 1923 in memory of her brother who had been killed in 1915 at the Battle of Loos.

    With later Royal Brides it has been done later in the day by one of their staff, after all the wedding photographs have been taken.

    The Queen has also placed replicas of her own bouquets there on visits to the Abbey before Remembrance Day.

    Brides are still sometimes seen placing their wedding bouquet on their local War Memorial after their own marriage ceremony.

  47. Donna Cady says:

    I remember visiting the changing of the guard and some people started laughing during the ceremony. The guards actually stopped and said to be respectful of ceremony. Still can’t believe it till this day

  48. Joseph Barna says:

    As Chairman of my company and an Army vet, ’66-’69, every year I take all the employees that are veterans to lunch on Veterans’ day. In the past, there would be as many as 3 cars necessary to take all to lunch. This year there were only 5 veterans out of an employee base of 100! As time passes fewer and fewer people seem to feel the need to “serve” which is really too sad for our country. I admit to crying at the Vietnam Memorial for the truly needless loss of life. I hold in the highest honor all those that served and never returned, or returned with grievous life altering wounds. My wife’s father and all his brothers served in WW2, along with her grandfather who enlisted for both WW2 and WW1! One of her uncles served in the Marines with John Basilone on Guadalcanal. Several of my uncles served in WW2, and several cousins enlisted along with my brother, Air Force, and me, Army. May god bless all those veterans!

    • Debra S Rheuark says:

      I agree with you, Mr. Barna. You are truly a blessing to all the veterans you have treated and continue to treat to lunch on Veterans Day. My father and my uncle served in WWII and my ex-husband served in Vietnam. It is indeed sad that so few young people want to serve our country, but given how shabby returning veterans are treated, it is understandable why only a few enter the military or even give a single thought to serving our country.

    • Debra S Rheuark says:

      Mr. Barna. I had to reread your comments. When I was living in the Midwest, the traveling replica of the Vietnam War memorial came to a city close to city where I lived. It was a sobering looking at all the names on memorial. Some of the names were of young men who had been my high school classmates.

  49. Tim Pence says:

    I had a great uncle who was one of the pallbearers of the unknown soldier. He was aboard the USS Olympia and tells of almost losing the body and how sailors were wanting to open the casket. His name was Howard Boegaholtz and his story was in the June 5 ,1965 The Republic Columbus,In

  50. Natasha naquin says:

    Thank you so very much for serving our beautiful country. It’s a sacrifice that nobody should have to do if we did not have enemies in this world. I come from a military family my six of my great uncles and my grandfather served in ww2 and one of my greatuncles was in the Korean War as well. My moms oldest brother was in the Vietnam war. So I have the highest respect for the ones that fought and came home safe and to the ones that never came home thank yall from the bottom of my heart. Love yall

  51. Anna Lee Scruggs says:

    I have been to Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The crosses are beautiful, disturbing and all consuming of one’s soul. The Tomb took my breathe away at its simplicity and respect for our soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice. My family has been here since the Mayflower-seeking freedom and persecution . They have served their and my country with honor and love for our country. (the revolutionary war, battle of 1812, civil war (both sides), WWI, WWII and Vietnam) It is my honor and privilege to live in the land of the free and the home of the VERY BRAVE.

  52. Bear says:

    What happened to the other unknown caskets not selected by Sgt Younger?

  53. The memorial is a testament not only to the unknown soldiers but to all the faces of every soldier who has ever served in the military the one has never met, who has dedicated their time on this earth to protect and serve, to sacrifice and work to make our country free from threat of violence and war, dictatorship and communism. It is a testament to the military wife or husband who keeps the home while he or she serves. It is a testament to the military children who wait for their parent(s) to return from tour or war, never knowing the trauma they experience or how their lives will change.

    Yes, it must be guarded, and carefully watched, to remind us everyday of the thousands of service men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom.

    • Debra S Rheuark says:

      Deborah,. Thank you for such a beautiful message. I was a military wife for nearly thirty years. My husband served aboard nuclear powered submarines. This meant no communication for weeks or months at a time. Serving aboard a submarine required sacrifices on my husband’s part and mine, but I am proud of my husband’s service to our country.

  54. J.R.Minks says:

    God bless all those who served this wonderful country with freedom and justice for all.
    May God bless this country and all who serve.

  55. william J Fronapfel says:

    AS a navy vet 65 69 and a son of an Army vet who became an American citizen before joining the Army; and having a family history of serving in the military since the Civil War this article has brought tears to my eyes. Some people will NEVER know the sacrifice a military faces.
    GOD BLESS THEM ALL and may they RIP.

  56. James A Cornie says:

    My father, Robert Lee Cornie told me he was with the first unit to guard the tomb. He was stationed at Ft. Meyers. Vandals were chipping stone or chards for small memorials. No ritual he says. They just sat around smoking cigarettes and telling tall tales. The ritual changing of the guard came later. I do not know how much was true and how much was another tall tale.