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tv   Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial  CSPAN  November 26, 2021 1:02pm-2:02pm EST

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centric nation. and i do think what is included in the history books is very important to all of us today. so i hope you will enjoy getting -- coming to grips with this story, learning about it and then learning about the history of your community or your state that perhaps is not as well known either. thank you very much for coming today. i hope we will see you again next year. >> thank you, carol. thanks, everybody. american history tv continues now. you can find the full schedule for the weekend on your program guide or at today we're going to talk about the tomb of the unknown soldier. and this is the 100th anniversary of the tomb of the unknown soldier. he did lay in state in the capitol and sam is going to talk to you about that. and let me give you a little
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perspective on sam. you see him as our organizer of this event, but let me give you a little bit of background about him. sam has been a washington resident since childhood. he earned his masters of public policy and a bachelor of arts from the college of william and mary. joined the society in june of 2016 and has held various positions serving as a tour guide, a speaker, communications professional, working with the retail, working with program management and working with the basic administration of the organization. before he came to the historical society, he worked for a trade association as a freelance fly-in scheduler, a title abstracter and a commercial property manager. so sam comes to us with a fascinating background and a real passion for history. and, so, it is my privilege to welcome you and to welcome our
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speaker today, sam. >> thank you so much for that kind and warm introduction. it's truly a joy to work for the historical society, to work with you and advance our mission to inspire and inform patriotism which is really, i think a beautiful way of capturing what it is we do here. as jane said, i'm sam holiday. as we get into today's discussion, i want to set the stage a little bit by explaining why it is we're giving this talk. of course, it is an important anniversary. it is the 100th anniversary of the creation of the tomb of the unknown soldier. and there is a significant capitol history, but there is also a little bit of personal society that goes into how we have gotten involved in this commemoration, the tomb centennial. so as i start my program, many of you will recognize the person in the middle, the award-winning
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historian. this photo was taken when we gave him our freedom award in 2016, society's highest honor. some of you on the call are fortunate to know some of the people pictured here. you will know they are some of the finest people to have walked the earth. you see dorothy who is a great, great friend of the society because, in part, her and congressman founded our organization 59 years ago this year. and on the right, her late husband, who served for an extended period as treasurer of this organization. he served as part of the honor guard for the tomb of the unknown soldier. if you look closely, the pin he is wearing on his lapel is a representation of the tomb guard identification badge. it was part of his identity that
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was important to him and he helped found the organization focussed on the tomb of the unknown soldier and the sentinels who guard it. the society of the honor guard, the tomb of the unknown soldier. we'll talk about them in a little bit. but because we have this society connection, this is particularly meaningful to talk about this history and to talk about the capitol history of the tomb of the unknown soldier. so let me go ahead. there we go. so i want to go back and talk about how the capitol plays a role in our understanding of public life and public memory. from some of the earlier designs for the capitol building, there was this room you see pictured here, the crypt of the capitol designed to hold the tomb for george washington. many of you will know it is an empty tomb for george washington, but from its earliest conception, this was a place of somber reflection on
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the lessons we can learn from george washington. and i think it is an important way to understood the capitol, as jane mentioned, as our temple of democracy. that not only is this a place where we set the laws for ourselves, but it is also a place where we celebrate the best we have to offer and we mourn those we have lost. congressional gold medals and playing in state ceremonies both take place in the capitol rotunda, one floor above the room pictured here in this image. it is important to think that this is where our country comes together to, again, celebrate and to mourn those great figures we have lost. one of the ways i just mentioned that we have a tribute to leading figures and important people in our nation's history is through the lying in state ceremony. it is a somber occasion as part of an official state funeral in which the casket of the deceased is placed upon a catapult today, support structure which we'll
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talk more about in today's program. and people, the public, are allowed to come in and they pair respects to see the rotunda. it is a very powerful and somber occasion. if you are ever in washington for such an occasion, of course we hope they are few and far removed, but it is typically open to the public and it is a really powerful way to participate in civics, by paying tribute. henry clay was the first person to lay in state in 1852 when he passed away. this is a very rare honor bestowed. only 35 people in our nation's capitol has laid in state total through today. and only 10 have laid in state before the world war i unknown. those were henry clay in 1852, abraham lincoln in 1865, charles in 1874. vice president henry wilson in
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1875, president james garfield. this picture is from garfield in 1881. senator john logan in 1886, president william mckinley in 1901. the designer for the city of washington laid in state when at arlington national cemetery. on his way, they paused so that he could receive state honors to the capitol building. they felt it was that important as they were paying tribute to a figure who had, for a brief time, fallen into obscurity and was buried in a pauper's grave. and then relevant to world war i, the admiral of the navy george doey was laid in state in 1917 before we get to the world war i unknown in 1921. congress also played a role in supporting the memory and the preservation of and the tribute
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to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, the last full measure of devotion to our country. in 1862, the omnibus act, which included a provision here. you can see from the national archives, an image of it and a transcription, and it provided the president with the authority to acquire land and create national cemeteries for those who gave that last full measure of devotion, those who died in service of the country. and ever since, the congress has been involved in preserving the memory and supporting those families who have lost loved ones in wars. now, as a quick forward, we start to talk about different conflicts after the civil war. i should mention before we get into that, there are actually a significant number of unknowns buried at arlington from the civil war, more than -- it is believed more than 2,000 remains
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in a large memorial. we can get into that a little bit later, but you get to the spanish american war that was fought in the civil war and the mexican american war, the war of 1812. and you have a policy enacted of bringing back the remains of deceased service members who died fighting in the american war, bringing them back to the continental united states to be buried closer to home. that conflict did not last quite as long, and it had significantly fewer casualties than the first world war, which plays into some of the decision-making about how to deal with repatriation and how the importance, i should say, of a tomb of the unknown soldier. before we get to that, though, i will mention that in 1913, congress approved and authorized spending for the government to create a new memorial amity
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theater at arlington national cemetery. at this point the cemetery had been in use since the civil war, and they recognized the need for a larger and more somber space to accommodate the visitors who were there to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones. and, so, they -- again, they appropriated the funds. they authorized the spending to create this new amphitheatre and made this investment in arlington national cemetery as the nation's premier cemetery, the nation's premier place to pay this special tribute. now, after the first world war, you have a congressman from new york, the fish family was very prominent in new york politics going back to the colonial era. his father was a secretary of state. his grandfather was a -- was a general and fought in the
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revolution. and, so, here he is. he fought in this first world war. he was highly decorated. won the silver star for valor. retired out as a major from the u.s. army. pictured here on the left in his uniform with one of the lieutenant generals who commanded him during the war and he won election to congress and served there for 25 years. and hamilton fish really was the driving force for the creation of a tomb of the unknown soldier. he was this major advocate on capitol hill. this concept of a tomb for the unknown soldier was one that was put to good use and was demonstrated by france and the united kingdom after the first world war. this was a tremendously fought war. this was a devastating war in terms of casualties, in terms of loved ones lost. and there were significant concerns at the conclusion of
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the war that retrieval of remains from some of these battlefields could be fraught with peril. there were unexploited ordinances, some of the chemical weapons used posed significant risk. and, so, france and the united kingdom actually had to restrict and chose to restrict how many of their soldiers lost during the war could be brought back to cemeteries at home. and this country opted to pursue the creation of a tomb for the unknown soldier this their respectful capitol. at westminster abbie at london and in paris were even turned with great purpose, unknown soldiers, so that the people of those respective countries, the united kingdom and france, could have a place to go and pay tribute to the ones they could not bring home to their
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families. and it really served as both a civic tribute and a very personal tribute for those who went to pay their respects. so seeing the success, the importance of this sort of a memorial. and while the u.s. was still undertaking repatriation, there were a great number of unknowns that resulted from the first world war. he offered the legislation to create this tomb of the unknown soldier and place it at arlington national cemetery here just across the city as a monument for the nation to mourn those loss, whether they came home or not. so, as i mentioned, there were a number of unknowns -- unknown soldiers who would perish by the end of the first world war. and the selection process was actually really rather fascinating. i should mention that they gathered from several different major battlefields, different unknown soldiers who had fallen
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in battle, and they brought them to a small town in the champagne region of france where one of the highest decorated and enlisted soldiers, enlisted veterans of the war made the final selection of the anonymous flag draped coffin to be the unknown soldier to rest at arlington in eternal memory in glory as a symbol, as a tangible representation of all of those other unknowns and all of those others were from their families and loved ones. this image you see here is the unknown soldier of world war i being brought ashore at the navy yard here in southeast washington, d.c. and he's brought to shore from the uss to limb pea yeah which had seen significant battle and performed valiantly. the voyage back from france was hardly a smooth passage.
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in fact, as they road through, there were reports that the swells and the rain and the winds were so strong that the marines guarding the casket which had been latched to the decks of the olympia were given the option to retrieve below deck and they refused so they could maintain their watch through these challenging circumstances and pay this high honor to this unknown soldier. they reached the navy yard, and then it proceeded up to the capitol building, as we have been discussing. the lying in state ceremony is a somber and high honor obviously paid to some. this image was from the laying in state of the unknown from world war i. and what you can see here, we mentioned it briefly, the kalt put -- i'll use my cursor to
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highlight here. the catapult on which it rests is the same one constructed and used for abraham lincoln. every ceremony since then has used the lincoln catapult. our fine partners across the street, they preserve it and they display it. when the visitor center reopens, it is on display in their exhibition hall until it's needed, in which case they remove it and they make sure it is ready for further service to our country in supporting those who we are paying tribute to. so they have the laying in state ceremony and then they proceed for the sburnment. they draw the casket by horse back and they take it over. they have the state funeral ceremony in that newly constructed amphitheatre, which had been recently completed at
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this point. it is presided over by then president warren g. harding, and the sburnment is made on the other side of the amphitheatre here in this newly created tomb for the unknown soldier. this is just a small snapshot on the thousands upon thousands of americans who came to pay tribute. this one person represented so many more and the channel through which they could participate in public mourning in public memory. now, congress's involvement in the tomb of the unknown soldier and how we pay tribute to those we fought with the first world war and the sburnment of the first unknown, in 1926, the congress appropriated the funds and authorized the spending to increase and improve the tomb to enhance the tomb of the unknown soldier by adding this large monument on top. if you look, i will jump back
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briefly, this initial tomb is actually at the same level as what surrounded it. they added this structure above the figure of valor and the immortal words here in this grave. you know what? i'm going to consult my notes later and i will give you a quote. i don't want to butcher it because it is a beautiful and powerful sentiment. but you have this structure added on top of the existing tomb to create a prominent space and that much more somber of a space to make sure this is a place of great solemnity. i should mention as well there were conflicts after the first world war, hence the name the first world war and after the conclusion of the second world war, the congress passed what is now public law 79-149,
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authorizing the sburnment of a world war ii unknown soldier in -- at the tomb of the unknowns. and they were in the process of preparing the selection and preparing the transport back to the united states. so the repatriation for sburnment when the korean war broke out and they suspended that operation. after the korean war concluded, congress passed a new law, public law 84-975 which authorized the selection and sburnment of the korean war unknown soldier in and around the tomb of the unknown soldier at arlington national cemetery. and, so, they continued to view this as a way for the nation to pay tribute, again, to all of those lost, whether they were repay treeuated or not and a place where the country comes together here. here is the lying in state ceremony for both the world war
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ii and korean war unknown soldier. unknown soldiers in the capitol building. and you will note that they are side by side in the rotunda. the lying in state ceremony used the lincoln catapult, which you can see in greater details here. this is only the catapult picture, but once the congress and then the capitol -- the capitol institutions decided to facilitate this dual ceremony, this joint ceremony of high honor was to create a replica, the exact replica, second catapult that could be used when multiple caskets are needed. side by side you have the lincoln catapult. and during the laying in state, they rotated the caskets of the world war ii and korean war unknowns so that both rested on the lincoln catafalque as part
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of this great tribute. they were carried with great honor and somber spirit to our national cemetery for sburnment in front of and farther along the plaza that we were showing you a moment ago. now, after the conclusion of the vietnam war, congress passed a 1973 public 93-43 which authorized the selection of an sburnment of an unknown soldier in the vietnam war. there was actually at this point some skepticism that an unknown -- that there would be unknowns as we had advanced identifying technology which had been introduced by the first world war, but they had been made more reliable and were more reliably used to identify remains whether there would be an unknown. but by the 1980s, an unknown soldier had been identified or
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had -- i should say had been selected. that comes up later in just a moment. so a brief note, hamilton fish iv, actually introduced a resolution in congress. he was then himself a republican congressman from new york, earlier in that same congress he introduced to select and intur an unknown soldier from the vietnam war. but it got colded into that same congress. now i mentioned -- little bit ahead of myself there. he was actually successfully identified. so there was some thought as people were working through the challenges of prisoners of war
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and missing in action following the vietnam war, the family of air force lieutenant michael glass by believed -- came to believe that he might have been the vietnam war unknown. and the department of defense agreed to exhume the vietnam war unknown soldier and to conduct dna testing which confirms that in fact the vietnam war unknown was lieutenant michael glasby. so at the request of his family, his remains were moved closer to home to the jefferson bar ricks national cemetery in st. louis, missouri. that happened in 1998. and then in 1999 on september 17th, which was both constitution day and more importantly for this purpose prisoner of war missing in action recognition day. the department of defense redesignated the vietnam war as the tomb of the unknown soldier
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for all those who never made it home. it stands has a permanent tribute to those lost, even though there is no one intured directly beneath that stone. so as we get to a point here, you know, i want to mention that, you know, we are a part of a bigger quilt of recognition in commemoration, a bigger coalition of commemorations, i should say, of this important centennial. the organizing entity is the society of the honor guard, the omb of the unknown soldier founded in part by the late great kneel cosby, and they have done some fantastic work organizing. they have done really great research. their website has a really great, concise and important history of the tomb and the tomb guard. a lot of frequently asked questions. and, you know, we can work on some of those as people start to
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take questions. the president of that organization, a wonderful fellow, and has been very helpful as we have participated and tried to help as we organize this commemoration. helped with some of the research as did one of our history interns. so thus concludes my brief overview of the history of the tomb of the unknown soldier, legislative history and congressman history. now i would welcome any questions you may have. i will screen share, and shane will start. >> one of our listeners found the quote. the quote states on the tomb: here rests in honored glory an american soldier known but to god. so thank you, james livingston, for that. now we have a question.
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do the unknown soldier remains from the various wars, do they lie together or are they replaced when there is one from a new war? what happens? >> sure. that's an excellent question. and it makes me realize i should have included a diagram or aerial view to help illustrate this. i might be able to point it out in one of the photos i included in the presentation. but they are not on top of -- they're not all in the same spot, to that extent. there are -- there is the world war i unknown, and then to the east -- let me make sure i get my geography right here. besides a tomb for the world war i unknown below grade. so at below ground level for that plaza are the world war ii and korean war unknowns and the empty vault for the vietnam
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unknowns. so they are separated but they're in the same vicinity that everyone is familiar with. so they were all there, and they're all guarded by the sentinels. the map is between the below ground vault or the world war ii and korean war unknowns and the gallery, the public gallery for where people can pay their respects when they visit arlington national cemetery. >> so here is an interesting question. you know, i love our listeners. they have such creative questions. >> absolutely. >> do you have any information about why the catapult was used? >> sure. that is -- >> because catapult has religious overtones. >> absolutely. and that is -- that is one -- something i have learned over my
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years working in scholarships is there are frequently incredible questions from our audience that i have to just say i actually don't know the answer from that, but it is a fascinating one. you know, i imagine -- i have to be careful here because we're a historical society. we want to make sure we give you as accurate information as possible. i imagine the term was selected during lincoln's laying in state and lincoln's state funeral process during his commemoration and that's because everyone has used his since. the term that was selected stuck, especially when they created a second one, an exact replica. now, i don't know the reasons that that turn was selected at the time, but that is an excellent question. gosh, you got to love our audience. >> i tell you, i love our
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audience. you'd never know. >> absolutely. give us time. we're going to hear somebody type in there the answer. but here's a question. do you know the selection process for choosing an unknown soldier? like how did they determine that the soldier is totally unknown? presumably they checked the dog tags, the infantry register, they check the registry. how did that come to be? >> that is a great question. i can give you guys an exact answer in just a moment. but i can tell you the initial -- to the initial part of the question and, you know, whether someone was truly unknown was -- had to just sort of be assumed that if they couldn't identify the remains of the fallen soldier on the battlefield they were oftentimes
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buried in large -- not quite mass graves, but they were buried as unknown soldiers. you know, and there were many of them, many of them. there were -- the number i mentioned earlier, you know, just at arlington, there are over 2,000 unknowns from the civil war and that by the time you get to the first world war, there were -- again, i think the number fish mentioned at one point was more than 1,700 unknown deceased from american service members fighting in the first world war. so in terms of whether they were unidentified or unknown, you know, was really -- you know, it was pretty much whether they could determine when they fell in battle who they were.
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and the technology of our time has really -- or the evolution of technology for identification has really improved the way we can pay tribute more specifically. we can, you know, identify people. like i said, the vietnam unknown was identified through dna technology which at this point has met most -- we hope it's enabled us to identify those who give their last true devotion. i can tell you that for the world war i unknown, they, like i said, they gathered the -- they gathered unknown military personnel from different military cemeteries that had been set up, you know, quickly in france, and they brought them to, and i apologize to any french speaking listeners here,
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in the champagne region of france where they prepared the city hall of the town for the selection. on october 24th, 1921, a quarter master corp. rearranged the casket so each rested on a shipping case from which it had arrived. this is from arlington national cemetery has prepared wonderful resources for the centennial of the tomb of the unknown soldier as well. their website is arlingtoncemetery.mill. so they rearranged them so that the selector could not determine which battlefield the soldier had -- on which battlefield the soldier had fallen for each of the four unknowns gathered. and then edward younger, who had served in the second batalion,
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american forces in germany and received high military honors was called upon to select the final unknown to make the voyage to washington, and he did so by placing a bouquet of white roses on one of the four caskets. and that similar ceremony took place for the world war ii unknown. it was actually not to get too far off topic for the question, but, you know, world war ii was such a global war that there was significant logistical efforts to make sure that this unknown soldier could represent all of the unknown soldiers, whether they were in europe, in northern africa, in the pacific, you know. so they actually carried out a similar process, where they gathered a group of unknowns from each theater and made an anonymous selection and then
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they kind of kept repeating the process until finally one unknown each from the european theater and the pacific theater or the atlantic theater and pacific theater were placed onboard a naval vessel off the coast of virginia and they were anonmiezed once they were on the boat. the selector didn't know which was from which. so it's always a really fascinating and also a very somber process that they went through for the first world war, the second world war and the korean war likewise, they had a similar process in place. that's a bit about the selection. but that's a great question as well. and i saw -- i think i saw -- not to jump ahead of you, jane, but i saw some of our listeners have put into the chat area some
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of the -- some of the answers about beer versus catapult. i'll ask that perhaps that listener, donna, if you could put that into the chat for everyone, i think that will be a helpful tool as we continue this discussion. by the way, there is a quote i meant to mention earlier before we jump to the next question. when in the legislation for the world war i, the original tomb of the unknown soldier, hamilton fish had a really beautiful explanation for why he thought this would work. he said the purpose of the legislation was to, quote, to bring home the body of an unknown american warrior who himself represents no section, creed or race in war and typefied moreover the soul of america, the supreme sacrifice for heroic identity.
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so as we talk about public memory and public warning that was at the heart of the legislation. >> so, sam, now that we have much more sophisticated identification process, there is no unknown soldier beyond the vietnam war, and the vietnam war is actually empty -- an empty vessel. is that correct? >> yeah, that is correct. and it is likely to remain the case. again, you know, it's -- you know, you hope it's not -- you hope it is not fallen in service of our country, but it's small small solace that dna technology and identifying technology has reached a point where, you know, we can identify those who give that last measure of devotion. so their family has some closure so they can be repay treeuated
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in name and that their families have a place to -- their families have a place to pay tribute in a very personal way instead of, you know, the tomb of the unknown is a beautiful memorial and an important way that anyone who lost something could pay tribute through the channel of the unknown. but, you know, i think it's reasonable to say that being able to identify people so that they can have a more personal tribute is better. so it's really, you know, it's -- we're fortunate. and, i think, you know, something to be said for the ability of, you know, more rapid medical care. they can do incredible things with medicine in the 21st century that just were not available in those earlier conflicts. so it's through a combination of
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factors i think, yeah, it's thought to be nearly certain that there won't be a -- there won't be a future unknown. we can certainly -- we can certainly hope that that's the case. >> so, sam, one of the queries is how can we be certain that the unknown soldiers are truly a fallen american, not an enemy or an american ally? >> that is an excellent question. and i think a lot of that has to do with how they were initially, you know -- how they would have initially been identified as an american soldier or an enemy soldier but not necessarily been identified as an individual. and so, you know, again, this is one of those areas where i can draw some inference. i don't have a definitive answer necessarily on the world war -- on the specific unknowns, but it
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seems reasonable that when they were initially intured because all of these unknowns, you know, they weren't taken straight from the battlefield, you know, to washington. they were intured as unknown soldiers, you know, amidst american cemeteries in these foreign theaters. it harkens back to our recent conversation of these overseas cemeteries for american service members killed in battle. and, so, i -- again, with the careful lens of inference, i have to say that it is likely they were able to tell pretty readily whether someone was an american service member or an enemy service member in these conflicts when they were additionally intured closer to the battlefield. but that is an extra question. and it brings up an interesting
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point that tomb and memorial i mentioned about the civil war unknowns in arlington is a mix of union and confederate unknowns. to that point, they had difficulty identified by the time they moved to arlington because they had been -- they had been in other parts of the cemetery, other parts of the area that they had difficulty identifying at that point when they were reintured, whether they had been confederate or union. so the civil war unknown tomb at arlington is a mix and it is a knowledge mix in the document. >> so tell us, was there any opposition? i mean, this is congress. you know, there is always controversy. was there any opposition to the creation of the --
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>> sure. there are some things that seem certain in this life and friction in congress seems to be one of them. but to the best of my recollection from the research, this was -- this was pretty widely -- pretty widely held. and through all four of the initial inturmentes there was, you know, pretty bipartisan, pretty wide support for this sort of a memorial. so that -- you know, so this was -- put it this way, i don't think it was an uphill battle for congressman fish in the 1920s. and we're seeing a couple of points -- sorry to jump back over, but we're seeing from a couple of folks in the chat section, you know, similar to the point that, you know, the uniform they're wearing can help, you know, draw the solace thinking that these are in fact
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american service members that, you know, that those initial sort of triage, you know, identification that this is an american service member, you know, put them into an american cemetery, but they weren't able to identify the person. so thank you to the couple of the folks in the chat question. >> a couple more questions. >> sure. >> someone asked about the recording, and everyone who is registered will get an e-mail that will give you a link to the recording. so if you want to share this with your friends and neighbors, be happy to do that. you should note, sam, that a former tomb guard who served from '99 to 2001 is -- wanted to say a special thanks because it was precious time in his life. >> god love you. thank you for your service. and, you know, it is really -- you know, i feel -- and i imagine i'm speaking on behalf of the society with this. it has been an honor for us to
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play a small part in this commemoration. this is an important anniversary. and like we were talking about, our mission is to inspoir and form patriotism and part of that is recognizing the skry faces that have enabled us to have this constitutional democracy in that telling the story of the temple of democracy, the united states capitol, is a story of sacrifices made for future generations, sacrifices made for the preservation of our democracy. so it's been an honor working on this one, absolutely. >> so, sam, someone asked the question. you showed a picture of the monument itself. can you -- how was the monument chosen? how was the sculpture chosen? what is the history of the monument and the gathering area around the tomb of the unknown?
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let's see what i have in my notes. let's see here. so the tomb -- i'll pull up the -- while i pull this back up for a moment, so i believe the question is about the actual sort of sar goff gus monument. and i know the figures facing -- i know the figures facing towards us in this image are representative sad ler, reed representing for the world war i unknowns 6 of the major battlefields, 6 of the major battlefields of the first world war and then there is a quote facing towards -- let me get my cursor here facing towards the amphitheatre, that beautiful quote that one of our listeners
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was able to bring in to us because, again, it is too good a quote to get wrong. so it's -- let me see here. the more specific information to give to you guys about the -- so, yeah, that's the quick brief on that. and, again, this is citing for the honor guard tomb of the unknown soldier and arlington national cemetery. both put together resources to talk about the anniversary and the history of the tomb. i can tell you this. i do know that the memorial was carved by the p -- i apologize to italian speakers on the call today, but the brothers who did the carving work in monumental
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washington, they worked on the sar cough gus-like monument for the tomb of the unknown soldier. so it's steeped in washington, d.c. as well. >> and, sam, one of the things we maybe should talk about as we come to the end of our time together is when gavin first approached us, one of the things he was very interested in was encouraging people to celebrate the tomb of the unknown soldier in their own communities on this veterans day coming up in november because while there is not, you know, a tomb of the unknown soldier in every community, there are people who served in the military and people who lost loved ones across the nation. and, so, that is one thing that the tomb of our society has a
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set of resources that we can include in the follow-up information which i see is about how to celebrate. they want to have bells, you know, everybody go on -- do bells at 11:00 and including you could do it on your phone. you know, everybody -- the amazing thing is now you don't need a church bell to have a bell. you can have church bells on your phone in a variety of -- they really wanted to see the creativity of the american spirit as we move forward. and i'm going to pull -- >> if i may -- >> okay, go ahead. >> i was going to say, if i may, to that point, they have a whole list of centennial trucks that they're promoting. they're working with people to plant never forget gardens with a representation of the tomb guard badge and that here lies in honor and glory an american
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soldier known but to god, that we may never forget those who made that ultimate sacrifice. like you said, they're working on these national salute projects. and, so, all of that is the question that came through is, the british tomb of the unknown soldier is very important in its national life. but it's not really visited much
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by foreign dignitaries. our tomb of the unknown soldier is often visited by foreign dignitaries. do you have any insight into how the tomb has become such a big part of global diplomacy? >> that is a fascinating question. it's a fungal space for other purposes. ours is here at our cemetery, which is more of a public -- it's the purpose of the national
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cemetery is paying tribute to those who made a sacrifice to our nation. in terms of how ours has become a force for global diplomacy, that's a really fascinating question. it's a geopolitical question. it's a foreign policy question. but you are absolutely -- the question is absolutely accurate asked in pointing out that it is -- you can go -- the arlington national cemetery has a photo page that you can find galleries and albums of images going back a dozen years of every world leader that's come to visit washington that lays a wreenl at the time of the unknown soldier. perhaps part of the answer is that we have a process available for these world leaders to pay
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tribute. what of it is that during this first interment of the world war i unknown, the unknown was decorated from -- by a great number of the allied nations. highest honors to the world was one unknown. so perhaps a little bit of interest but perhaps part of the impact in the importance of the power of the tomb of the unknown soldier is that there is already some global interest and appreciation and respect for what we were doing here with our world war one unknowns. and i will mention a brief, a correction that never forget garden plaque is the east relief of the tomb but the match and
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for anyone, i'll never forget that because you can find more information on that website. >> and the other thing that several people sort of commenting that >> the united states played a critical role in finalizing most of the world wars, which then created united states as a world military power. therefore the tomb of the unknown soldier is a component of that. many european nations and beyond have their own tomb of the unknown soldier. the soviets have a tomb of the unknown soldier. but this is ours. we are talking about ours. we also have to love james livingston, who pointed out that the tomb is made up of seven pieces. marble is from marble from
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colorado. the sculpt -- we are very interested in our folks who really have great resources. we are just about as the close of our time. would you like to give people a charge as we move forward? we always -- we would like to see people not just take -- listen to this and say, isn't that interesting, but this is one where we would like you to take action. we would like you to find a way in your own community to plant a garden, to do a commemoration. s is 100 years of the tomb of the unknown soldier when it is just one way that we recognize the
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people who served in the military, and their families whose loved ones serve in the military. in the past and even today. so, samuel holliday, give us our charge as we move forward. >> i think that what i would say is our role as mentioned earlier, inspiring patriotism and civic engagement and part of civic engagement you know, there are a lot of ways of people engage in our democracy. and a lot of that is boating and the important piece of it that always need to be present is respect and appreciation to for the sacrifices that have been made and that here we are in 2021, that that we have this absolute privile >> we have this privilege to live and exist and work and support this democracy.
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we have that because people have made the ultimate sacrifice time and time again to give it to us, these many generations. so i think our charge to ourselves, to those of you kind enough to be with us today, is sometimes as we build up to this 100th anniversary, think about how -- how participating in our democracy can be lived out in a way that pays tribute to those sacrifices made. it's incredibly important. it's part of our duty. part of our obligation as citizens to be part of making sure that these sacrifices are not forgotten and that we live up to the promise of our democracy. we haven't always lived up to the promise of our founding, our identity. we always try to do so.
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part is making that commitment to a tribute, to remember and to appreciate. thank you samuel hod th >> this veterans day in washington, d.c., the 1918 armistice ending hostility between germany and the allies was remembered with the tolling of bells and playing of taps. the ceremony marked the centennial of arlington cemetery's tomb of the unknown soldier where world war man serviceman was laid to rest. >> today, you will hear the tolling 21 times signifying the armistice at 11:11.
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for causing all hostilities to end on the bottle of the western front. then you will hear taps. taps is played in commemoration of the centennial of the burial of the world war i unknown soldier in arlington cemetery. [ bell tolling ]
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