“Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God”
The above words are inscribed on the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier (Also known as Tomb of the Unknowns). These words and the tomb itself have served as an inspiration to generations of Americans. A crack is now beginning to appear diagonally across these words on the tomb after fighting the elements for more than 70 years.
The Tomb of the unknown soldier is a very popular among tourists visiting Washington D.C and Arlington. The Tomb has a very special place in US history.
According to the website of the Arlington Cemetery,
The Tomb of the Unknowns, near the center of the cemetery, is one of Arlington’s most popular tourist sites.
The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War. Each was presented with the Medal of Honor at the time of interment and the medals, as well as the flags which covered their caskets, are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater, directly to the rear of the Tomb.
The Tomb is guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard).
The Memorial Amphitheater has been the scene of the funerals of some prominent Americans (such as General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing) as well as the site of both Memorial Day and Veterans Days celebrations.
This tomb which has tremendous historical importance is now beginning to show cracks and will get from bad to worse if repair work is not carried out soon. There is now a debate between Cemetery officials and Historical preservationists on whether these cracks should be fixed or whether an exact marble replica be built to replace this cracking tomb.
As per a CNN article,
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is at the center of combat between preservationists and cemetery officials.
As the cracks worsen, cemetery officials say, the threat of a degraded monument will detract from the dignity and respect afforded to those buried at what many consider the nation’s most sacred site. They would like an exact replica made with similar marble.
Historical preservationists say it should not be replaced and that the cracks should simply be fixed as needed.
“A replica is not the same thing as the original,” said John Hildreth of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a leading historical preservation organization.
I find what the cemetery officials are proposing absolutely ridiculous. How can you just leave a tomb of such historical importance in shambles and instead build a new one? Would they say lets build a new White house or a new Capitol building because the existing ones are cracking? Come on guys, this is a no-brainer.