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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Must See When In Washington DC

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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a memorial in Washington, D.C. dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

 The History of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument to those who have died in service to their country without their remains being identified. It was initially created to commemorate American service members killed during World War I, and it was dedicated on November 11, 1921 – the three-year anniversary of the end of the war. It contains a crypt with the remains of an unidentified soldier from World War I and two more crypts with soldiers who were killed in World War II and in Korea.

The site is marked with a white marble sarcophagus that is inscribed with the words “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day by specially chosen members of the United States Army known as “Tomb Sentinels”. They stand vigil over it in all types of weather, regardless of holidays or events.

The Tomb’s annual ceremony of remembrance is held every Memorial Day and honors all United States veterans who have given their lives for their country. The President usually attends, as well as various other dignitaries such as members of Congress and the military leadership. The ceremony includes a wreath-laying at the Tomb, 21-gun salute, music performed by military bands, prayer services, and reading aloud of names of those killed in action since the previous year’s memorial service.

The Tomb has become an important symbol representing America’s commitment to remembering its fallen heroes. It stands as an eternal reminder that these men and women made great sacrifices for freedom and patriotism, so we must never forget them or take our own freedoms for granted.

How the Tomb is Guarded

In March 1926, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was first protected by soldiers from nearby Fort Myer. Over a decade later in 1937, guards began standing watch around-the-clock to ensure that this hallowed memorial site remained undisturbed. Fast forward to 1948 and The Old Guard—the U.S Army’s official ceremonial unit since April 6th — were designated as guard at Arlington National Cemetery where they continue their roles today providing escort services for dignitaries along with military ceremony honors such as funeral escorts honoring brave servicemen who have passed away.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and is guarded by a select group of soldiers. Those chosen to become part of this elite guard go through rigorous selection processes, accompanied with specialized training in order to ensure utmost respectfulness towards its mission: honoring our fallen heroes. Each movement done on guard duty has symbolic meaning; from 21 steps taken down the black mat signifying highest military honor bestowed – a 21-gun salute – to an executioner shoulder arms position between visitors and tomb protecting its sacred occupant.

How are Soldiers Selected to Guard the Tomb?

Brave individuals who have volunteered for all three levels of service – the Army, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment and Tomb Guarding – must undergo a rigorous assessment before being awarded the esteemed badge that grants them access to guard one America’s most sacred monuments: The Tomb of Unknown Soldier.

For What Reason is This Tomb so Important?

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a symbol of America’s commitment to honoring its fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It serves as an eternal reminder that these brave men and women have given their lives so that we can enjoy our freedoms today, and should never be taken for granted.

By standing guard over this monument, the Sentinels ensure that all those who visit pay proper respect to those laid to rest beneath it. They are a living reminder of the courage and dedication of our servicemen and women who give their lives in defense of our nation’s freedom. Moreover, the Tomb stands as a testament to our nation’s values and ideals; that even in death all soldiers must be treated with the highest respect.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a sacred site that stands in tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and should always be remembered. The Sentinels ensure that this monument remains a place of reverence and honor, where visitors can pay their respects to our nation’s heroes. It serves as an eternal reminder that freedom is never free and it must be fought for every day.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, situated in Arlington County, Virginia and home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is a national landmark that pays tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for our country. It serves as an honorary space that pays homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation.

More than 400,000 individuals are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, including veterans from every major conflict in United States history. It also includes two presidents—John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft—and numerous other notables such as Supreme Court justices and Medal of Honor recipients.

Visitors to Arlington National Cemetery can take part in many activities that honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been guarded by Sentinels since 1937, and visitors can watch a changing of the guard ceremony each hour on the hour at its entrance.In addition to its military honors, Arlington National Cemetery provides educational opportunities for visitors interested in learning more about American history or paying tribute to fallen heroes. 

The cemetery’s Visitor Center offers access to a wealth of information through artifacts and exhibits related to military service throughout the United States’ history. Tours are offered throughout the year that focus on topics such as Civil War history or memorials located around the cemetery grounds.