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In Pictures: 100 Years of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

A look at the history of the memorial to unidentified service members who lost their lives

left an army sentry walking by the tomb of the unknown soldier nineteen fifty eight right a sentry walking by the tomb in two thousand twenty

National Archives / Arlington National Cemetery

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On Nov. 11, 1921, a casket bearing an unknown soldier from World War I was placed on a horse-drawn caisson from the Capitol and taken on a procession through Washington, D.C., across the Potomac River into Virginia and to a state funeral held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

During the 100 years since, one unknown service member each from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War were laid to rest there, representing service, valor, sacrifice and mourning.  

On this centennial anniversary of the tomb’s creation, here’s a look through historical photos at the meaning behind the memorial dedicated to service members who gave their lives for their country.

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Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agency’s Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.