A Letter from our Vice President — TUS Centennial

August 17, 2015 | Special Report

The Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) Centennial Committee is proud to announce the implementation of one of the many projects currently under development as we approach the 100th Anniversary of the burial of an Unknown American Soldier who fought and died in World War I, and is buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS) in Arlington National Cemetery.

The National Salute is a means to show our deep respect for our Unknown Soldiers buried in the plaza of the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery.   On the the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month in 2021 Americans across the United States and foreign lands, will pause to recognize those who have sacrificed and those who will sacrifice in the future in the defense of America’s “Freedom and Democracy.”

The Centennial of the TUS will be that National Moment when all of America pauses to remember and to unite with those that have secured our most cherished beliefs and our National identity with their blood and treasure.  They will renew their acquaintance with Washington’s deepest desire for National unity; with Lincoln’s faith that our embracing the belief that “…all men are created equal….” connects each of us to every patriot grave and with the courage of Congressman Hamilton Fish to bring all of America together.

This commemoration provides to those who abide in our Land a unique opportunity to celebrate America’s unshakeable commitment to the dignity of man as was so defiantly set forth in the Declaration of Independence.   It is an opportunity to express individually and collectively, their sense of service and national unity; and their thanks for what this country has done for them. This powerful concept and belief are witnessed every day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where, as Congressman Hamilton Fish intended, it is a place to serve as a focal point, where all of America can come together.

The SHGTUS Centennial Committee invites you to reach out into your community to help us implement Phase 1 of the National Salute this year.  For more information on how you can help project please contact the Public Affairs Director at publicaffairs@tombguard.org.

Sergeant Major (Retired) Gavin McIlvenna

SHGTUS Vice President
SHGTUS Centennial Committee Chairman

  1. Will King October 10, 2015

    My father was in the 12th Infantry at Ft. Washington, MD and was in the original WW1 ceremony to bury the Unknown Soldier. In 1964 I graduated from Infantry OCS and was assigned as a platoon leader in the Old Guard. In 1965 Colonel Conmy was surprised that so little was known about the original unknown soldier so he assigned me to research it. I spent several months at the Pentagon after my ceremonial duties getting photos from the Army Pictorial Agency and documents from other Army offices. I put together a complete story of how the original soldier was verified, selected and then celebrated from France through Arlington.

    I subsequently was promoted to Honor Guard Company in December 1965 and started some training to become the XO of the company and to be the officer of the guard at the tomb but, in March 1966 I got orders for Viet Nam.

    In 2014 I discovered the Old Guard Association and have been a life member ever since. I am curious if my report and the pictures of the ceremony on the original unknown solder has been preserved somewhere. I do have some of the photos of the original ceremony and would enjoy talking to someone at the tomb perhaps at the Old Guard Association reunion next year (2016).

    Thanks in advance, Will King, North Kingstown, RI 401.295.8515

  2. Barbara Lamke November 20, 2016

    I am looking to obtain Douglas I. Lamke’s discharge papers to join the American Legion in The Villages, Florida. He was a tomb hard from the fall of 1960 to March of 1962. He passed away in February of 2009. His social security number is 381-40-7040. Gavin, I hope you can help me with this. Thank you in advance. My phone no. is 517-281-7572. Barbara J. Lamke