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Tomb of the Unknown, Small

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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.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb 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.

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Thank you for your comment, madhat. Yes, while we were there, the guard had to remind a couple of people to keep their voices down and be respectful.

My husband and I were both active duty military. We both lost friends during various conflicts and they paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I am thankful for their sacrifices every day.


Thanks for posting this and reminding us of the cost of freedom that we enjoy each moment of every day. There is a youtube video online with the honor guard requesting that the audience remain silent and reflective rather than the gabbing that was going on during a guard change.

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