The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier -This Sunday (November 11) is Veterans Day! Veterans Day is a time to honor the survivors, and to be grateful for their service and sacrifice to defend what we as Americans believe.
A Forgotten History?
This holiday (originally known as Armistice Day) was established to remember the 1918 signing of the Armistice Treaty and to honor the heroes of World War I. In 1921, Congress resolved to build a tomb to honor the men who died overseas. Sergeant Edward Younger was given the task of choosing one of four unknown American soldiers to bring home for burial. When the Navy ship Olympia arrived in Washington on November 9th with the body of the fallen soldier, America responded. The Calvary band played "Onward Christian Soldiers" as the casket was taken to the U.S. Capitol, where the soldier was laid in State. President Warren G. Harding, governmental officials, and thousands of Americans paid their respects to this fallen soldier.
On the morning of November 11th, this soldier was given a military procession to Arlington National Cemetery and buried at what is known today as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This tomb has been guarded around the clock by dedicated servicemen and women since 1948. The honor for the sacrifice of this soldier was recently once again evident when the guards refused to leave their post during Hurricane Sandy, which was reminiscent the soldiers' determination to guard the tomb during Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
The honor paid to this soldier is the same respect that all of our veterans deserve. It was in 1954 that Veterans Day was officially renamed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to honor American veterans of all wars. These brave men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom should be celebrated and venerated.
On this special day when we pause to reflect on the sacrifices made across the years by men and women willing to lay down their lives to protect and defend our Constitution, our freedoms, and our way of life, let’s be proactive in our gratitude.
- Thank a veteran or active military member in uniform
- Attend a Veterans Day parade
- Pray for the military families
- Remind those around you of the significance of this day.
- Listen to Tuesday's WallBuilders Live Program