Who is in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

For hundreds of years, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been one of the most important war memorials in the United States. This monument was based on buildings in the UK and France that were identical. Today, monuments like this can be found in many places around the world. But what is the tomb, and why does it matter?

What is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument for U.S. soldiers who died in the war without a name. Since World War I, unidentified remains from major wars have been metaphorically buried in the coffin. They serve as a memory of the sacrifices made by many heroes in battle. The mausoleum lets people pay their respects to soldiers from all over time.

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The Unknown Soldier’s Tomb: What Does It Represent?

The monument is a tribute to the bravery of many people who died in war and cannot be named. It’s made of marble on all four sides. Three Greek models stand together on one end. They stand for peace, courage, and success. “An American soldier known only to God rests here in honor and glory,” it says on the other side of the monument. Three flowers on each side reflect three important battles from World War I. In front of the Tomb, soldiers from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam are buried beneath marble slabs.

Where Is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

The Tomb is at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. It is in the middle of the graveyard, on a hill, and from there you can see Washington, DC. The Potomac River runs next to the Arlington National Cemetery. Since the American Civil War, this is where armed people have been laid to rest.

What Is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’s History?

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Through history, many heroes who died in fight have been forgotten. Some battles didn’t keep records of the dead, so it was hard to find out who they were. In other battles, the bodies were damaged or the wounded couldn’t be helped because of the fighting. During past fights, the dead were often buried in group pits or by the side of the road.

Since then, the government has taken steps to keep track of soldiers and pay tribute to those who have died. Dog tags and detailed military records help identify troops who have died in battle. But some of the bodies haven’t been found yet.

As a result of World War I, many soldiers died overseas. Should the bodies have been brought home? How were they going to handle it? France and the UK chose not to send the bodies back. Instead, they decided to put one man who didn’t have a name in a tomb to stand for the thousands of men who were killed.

A guard keeps watch over the grave of the unknown soldier.

The United States gave families the option of sending the bodies of their loved ones home or buried them in graves outside the country. Also, the government chose to build a memorial for soldiers without names, like the ones in France and the UK.

Four bodies were found in graves in France, and one was chosen to be buried in the Tomb. On November 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding led a service to honor the soldier’s effort and lay him to rest.

Who Is Buried in the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb?

One person from World War I, one from World War II, one from Korea, and one from Vietnam are all buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. But the body that was buried in Vietnam on behalf of troops was later found. The body of Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie was found with the help of DNA tests, and it was given back to his family. The Vietnam vault was left empty, and the remains of three people were left next to the memorial.

Who guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

For 5 years, no one watched over the grave. Guards were put up at the statue in 1926 because tourists were not always nice there. Since then, the Tomb has been watched over all day, every day of the year. The soldiers are from the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, which is often called the “Old Guard.”

Being a tomb guard is a rare honor that requires a lot of dedication. The guards live in rooms under the Tomb. They have to meet certain requirements, like being a certain height and going through hard training. Guards march at a rate of 90 steps per minute, stopping every 21 steps to mimic the famous 21-gun salute.

All year long, the guard switches every hour to every half hour, and guests can watch.

How can you show US soldiers and veterans that you respect them?

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier respects the bravery of heroes and remembers the sacrifices they made during American history. On Veterans Day this year, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be remembered for the 100th time. Even if you can’t go to the tomb in person, you can still learn about it and take part in events to honor the heroes who died there.


You might also find out more about the soldiers in your family by looking for soldier burial and veteran grave record files. Please take a moment on Veterans Day to think about their lives and what they gave up. FamilySearch Memories is a place to share conversations, photos, and anything else you have. You can also read other people’s memories to honor them.


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