The Fascinating History of the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’
"Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God" which is the inscription etched onto 'The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.'
On this Memorial Day 2018, for the very first time in my life, I watched the Arlington National Cemetry's video about the history of the Unknown Soldier and it gave me the chills and also made me proud to be a United States citizen.
On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I. The white marble sarcophagus where the Unknown is interred stands atop a hill overlooking Washington D.C.
On August 3, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to have soldiers from World War II and the Korean War join their WWI comrade. On May 30, 1958, the soldier's caskets were placed on caissons that traveled to Arlington National Cemetery where President Eisenhower awarded the Unknowns the Medal of Honor where they were interred in the plaza next to their WWI comrade.
On May 28, 1984, an unknown soldier from the Vietnam War was laid to rest next to his WWI, WWII, and Korean War Unknowns but on May 14, 1998, the Vietnam War soldier's remains were exhumed after DNA testing identified the previous Unknown as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Bossie.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year even in the toughest of weather. The guard is changed every hour Oct. 31 through March 31 and from April 1 through Sept. 30 another guard change is added on the half hour.
Every guard change is an elaborate ritual and is mesmerizing to watch! Check out the video.