Press "Enter" to skip to content

Editorial: The supreme sacrifice

One hundred years ago today, on Nov. 11, 1921, the United States dedicated its Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

World War I had produced, as had all wars in the past, service members whose remains could not be identified. Finally, by act of Congress in 1920, provision was made for the interment of one unknown soldier at the national cemetery “who typifies … the soul of America and the supreme sacrifice of her heroic dead.”

Benjamin F. Smith

One such soldier was exhumed in France and brought home for the tomb. On Nov. 11, 1921, this soldier’s remains were placed on a horse-drawn caisson in front of the U.S. Capitol. Two minutes of silence were observed nationwide.

President Warren G. Harding officiated at the ceremony.

The procession stepped off, ending at the final resting place, which remains one of the nation’s most revered shrines, on the far side of the Potomac River.

There is a local connection.

Soldiers with valorous records from t...

To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.