November 11, 1921 All the exhibition halls and offices of the U.S. National Museum are closed on November 11, 1921, in honor of the burial of America’s unknown soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater. Inscribed on the white marble sarcophagus are the words:
Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God
The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.
The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers from the United States Army 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard.” It is considered one of the highest honors to serve as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Fewer than 20 percent of all volunteers are accepted for training and of those only a fraction pass training to become full-fledged Tomb Guards. A soldiers “walking the mat” does not wear rank insignia, so as not to outrank the Unknowns, whatever their ranks may have been.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives and Arlington National Cemetary
Posted: 11 November 2017