Sacrifice, suffering, and grief are synonymous with war. A nation of families, friends and citizens, mourning the loss of their loved ones, need closure in order to start their grieving process. They need a place that represents this loss and celebrates the sacrifice that protect the liberties of free nations.
With war, mankind has sought to remember those who gave all and commemorate those who demonstrated valor. These acts give the living a way to process the extraordinary amount of lives lost. By having a sacred place to visit, it makes that place a shrine for pilgrims to pay tribute to the sacrifices made.
Americans have always commemorated their war dead and those who made great sacrifices in the service to the United States of America (U.S.). Special days were dedicated for paying tribute to those who served since the earliest days of U.S. history. Yet, at the beginning of the 20th century, there remained no singular place for Americans to visit in order to pay tribute to those who gave all. Considering the amount of sacrifices made throughout U.S. history, it seemed natural when the U.S. Congress enacted legislation following World War I to dedicate such a place.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Tomb) was established in 1921. The Unknown Soldiers laid to rest at the Tomb represent all missing and unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice – they not only gave their lives, but also their identities to protect these freedoms.
The Tomb is the final resting place for Unknowns from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, and is guarded at all times.