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Tomb of the Unknowns

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia

Tomb of the Unknowns
Photo: CJKpi License: CC BY 2.0
The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Inclement weather does not cause the watch to cease.

On March 4, 1921, the United States Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater. A grave for an unknown has been added for World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The World War I tomb's design was selected in a competition won by architect Lorimer Rich.

Sculpted into the east panel of the original tomb which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor.

The six wreaths carved into the north and south of the tomb represent six major battles of World War I.

The crypt, which once held the remains of the Vietnam Unknown, has been replaced. The original inscription of "Vietnam" and the dates of the conflict has been changed to "Honoring and Keeping Faith with America's Missing Servicemen." as a reminder of the commitment of the Armed Forces to fullest possible accounting of missing service members.

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Tomb of the Unknowns


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