Commemorating a century of honor at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Commemorating a century of honor at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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Arlington National Cemetery is preparing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

For the first time in nearly a century, tourists will be allowed to visit the sacred grounds to walk and place flowers at the tomb on Nov. 9 and 10. On Thursday, the public will be invited to observe a joint full honors procession and a flyover with all branches of the military at the cemetery. 

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On Nov. 11, 1921, the Unknown was placed on a horse-drawn caisson and carried in a procession through Washington, D.C. and across the Potomac River. A state funeral ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery’s new Memorial Amphitheater, and the Unknown was interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, according to the Arlington National Cemetery website.

(L-R) US President Joe Biden , Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Omar Jones, Major General take part in a wreath laying in front of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Arlington, Virginia on May 31, 2021.
(Getty Images)

Since that day nearly 100 years ago, the tomb has been the final resting place for one of the country’s unidentified service members during World War I. In the years following, the monument was dedicated to many other unidentified soldiers from later wars.

The hashtag #Tomb100 is already being used across social media platforms to mark the occasion this week.

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Emilie Adams, 13, from upstate New York, played Taps at “Taps in Honored Glory,” Sunday, one of the events leading up to Thursday’s commemoration. 

The eighth-grader told FOX Television Stations this weekend she had been practicing her trumpet for up to an hour every day since September, and she has been playing the trumpet since the fourth grade. 

Last month, a historic “first” took place during a guard change at the tomb.

“For the first time in the 84-year-vigil, on the 30,770th day of continuous guarding, an all-female guard change occurred with the 38th Sergeant of the Guard,” the Old Guard tweeted. 

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During this time of the year, the military guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is changed in an elaborate ceremony which happens every hour on the hour from Oct. 1 through March 31, and every half hour from April 1 through Sept. 30.

Twenty-four hours a day, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” stand watch over the Tomb. The Tomb Guards, also called “Sentinels,” are chosen for this prestigious and highly selective post only after rigorous training and a demanding series of examinations. The Old Guard has held this distinguished duty since 1948.

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