Information is forthcoming regarding;
Famous Memorials and Tombs
Military Markings on Monuments
Military Sections in Cemeteries &
Tomb of the Unknowns- (Arlington National Cemetery)
After World War I, in which so many countries lost so many service members,
many nations began honoring their war dead by dedicating a tomb to an
Before the advancements of forensic science, it was common for bodies to
remain unidentified. This type of monument recognized that all soldiers
contributions are honored, not just those that could be named.
The Congress approved, on March 4, 1921, the burial of an unidentified soldier
from World War I in the plaza of the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington
Cemetery. The tomb's designer was chosen in a competition. Architect Lorimer
Rich was the winner. The flat faced white marble sarcophagus, carved from
stone quarried in Marble, Colorado, includes neo-classical figures representing
peace, victory, and valor. As well as, six wreaths representing the major battles
of World War I: Ardennes, Belleau Wood, Chateau Thierry, Meause-Argonne,
Oisiu-Eiseu, and Somme. On the west side of the tomb, which faces the
cemetery, is inscribed with these words "Here Rests in Honored Glory, An
American Soldier Known Only to God".
The sarcophagus was placed above the grave
of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West
of that, are the crypts of unknowns from the
Korean (south) and World War II (north).
White marble slabs lie on the plaza to mark
their graves. Between those two is the crypt
that once contained the remains of the
unknown from Vietnam. His remains were
identified as, 1st Lt.Michael Blassic in 1998,
and was removed.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier, but has no official name, but it does have an official guard. The U.S.
Army's Old Guard, a special company in the Third Infantry Regiment guard the
tomb 24 hours a day, every day of the year, regardless of weather, since 1937.
The guard is changed in a daily elaborate ceremony. Serving in the Old Guard is
considered one of the highest military honors.
While on his silent duty, an Old Guard sentinel crosses a 63' rubber surfaced
walkway in exactly 21 steps. He faces the tomb for 21 seconds, he turns again
and paused for another 21 seconds, then retraces his steps. The sentinel always
keeps his weapon away from the tomb. However if someone were to intrude on
the Tomb's restricted area, the retinal will stop, bring his weapon to port arms
and break silence.
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