|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 "unknown."
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
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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