What Are Some Facts About the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?


Quick Answer

Located in the Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to American military service members who died in war without their remains being identified. The marble sarcophagus was originally put in place after World War I, according to the official website of the Arlington National Cemetery. Since that time, Unknowns from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War have been interred beside the World War I soldier.

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Full Answer

In 1921, the remains of four unidentified American World War I soldiers were still in France. At the behest of Congress, United States Army Sergeant Edward F. Younger, a highly decorated veteran from the War, selected one of the four identical caskets by placing upon it a white rose. That coffin was transported back to Virginia to be buried in the Unknown monument. The other three deceased soldiers remain to this day in Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in France.

Since 1926, Tomb Guards have watched over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, according to the website of the Society of the Honor Guard. It is their sacred duty to keep a constant vigil over the National Shrine and to ensure that no desecration or disrespect is directed at the Tomb. The sentries do not wear any rank insignia and dress in special uniforms that are devoid of rank. This is to guarantee that the guard does not outrank the Unknown Soldiers, whatever their ranks may have been.

Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words: "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."

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