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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier marks 100 years since dedication

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Posted at 4:58 AM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 09:29:49-05

This Veterans Day, one of America's most revered military memorials will mark 100 years since its dedication.

For a century, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has stood at Arlington National Cemetery to serve as a tribute to all U.S. military members who surrendered their lives and identities to protect their country.

On Thursday, the nation's largest military cemetery will recreate the full military procession the first unknown soldier received 100 years ago upon his interment in the tomb.

Following World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was constructed at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Upon its completion in 1921, a still unidentified soldier who had been killed in France during World War I was selected to forever serve as the "Unknown Soldier."

In November 1921, the body of the unknown soldier was returned from France to the U.S. For two days, the soldier's casket lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. There, the public was invited to pass by and pay their respects.

On Tuesday, the cemetery opened the plaza at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the first time in decades to allow the public to lay flowers at the tomb — a nod to the unknown soldier's time laying in state at the Capitol.

On Nov. 11, 1921, the soldier's body was taken from the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery with a complete joint honors procession. Following the solemn procession, the casket was interred in the tomb, where it remains today.

Unidentified soldiers from World War II and the Korean War have since been interred at the tomb.

On Thursday at 9 a.m. ET, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. military will re-create the 1921 procession, including an aerial review.

At 11 a.m. ET, President Joe Biden will make a Veterans Day trip to Arlington National Cemetery for the first time as commander-in-chief. After laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he's expected to deliver public remarks at the amphitheater.