This Year Marks 100 Years of Honoring the Fallen at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
On October 23, 1921, U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger was given a difficult task. The young man was selected to choose an anonymous fellow fighter to be interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, according to military news outlet, Stars and Stripes. He made his choice from four caskets and that unnamed soldier was sent home and laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In addition to that first unknown soldier brought home after World War I, other unidentified fighters who died during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam were sent to rest at Arlington National Cemetery to symbolize all those who were lost.
The tomb at Arlington serves "as a people's memorial that inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning," according to the Arlington National Cemetery website.
In honor of the centennial, the Virginia cemetery is holding a series of commemorative events that will culminate on November 11, when Veteran's Day is observed. For the first time in nearly 100 years, on November 9 and 10, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Tomb.
Before that solemn occasion—and to mark the 100th anniversary of the selection of that first unknown soldier—on Sunday hundreds gathered in the French town of Chalon-en-Champagne, military news outlet, Stars and Stripes reports.
Veterans, former guards, military spouses, Gold Star mothers, and more gathered together for a vigil, a military procession, and other solemn ceremonies. Alongside the American military families and veterans were French soldiers, families, and onlookers helping honor the Americans who died on the battlefields of France during World War I. "
"It's a part of our history," said Benoist Apparu, mayor of the city of Chalon-en-Champagne, France, reports Stars and Stripes. "We need to celebrate this for the younger generation, so that they do not forget what happened here."
For more information and a full schedule of events visit ArlingtonCemetery.mil/Tomb100.