Friday, 18 Jan 2019

"The soul of America": the day the tomb of the unknown soldier of Arlington was consecrated

Thousands of people – including President Harding – gather for the burial of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 1921. (Library of Congress) (Unknown) Steve Hendrix Senior non-portfolio editor based on Local Enterprise, but filing for national, foreign, magazine and other sections, November 10 at 7:00 AM Arlington National Cemetery had never attended a funeral such as the 11th November in the morning. 1921. The highest military officers of the country were present, as well as the leaders of the Congress, Supreme Court judges, diplomats from all over the world and a crowd so large that the president's car was forced to cross fields to join him. on time. A "100 million tribute" was commented by a breathless writer who described the unprecedented turnout and funeral that took up almost the entire front page of The Washington Post the next day. It was a historic honor for one person, although no one knew who she was. Today, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier is as solid in the public psyche as its massive marble slabs are heavy on this sacred ground. The resting place of a "known hero but of God" is at the center of the national commemoration, attracting millions of visitors every year and being the subject of an annual pilgrimage of the Commander-in-Chief. Before this morning of autumn, such a tradition did not exist. The unnamed memorials had always been collective. The original memorial site at Arlington Memorial Day was a huge ossuary containing the bones of 2,111 soldiers gathered on the battlefields of the American Civil War. But the deadly technologies of the First World War brought devastating new destructions. More than 116,000 Americans were massacred, of which 1,652 were too damaged to be identified. [The U.S. joined the ‘Great War’ 100 years ago. America and warfare were never the same.] "People could be atomized by a shell fired five miles away," said Philip Bigler, a former historian at Arlington National Cemetery and author of the forthcoming book, "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Century of Honor." . Great Britain, which suffered even greater losses, did not allow its dead to be brought home to be buried in order to avoid years of discouraging and destabilizing funerals. on the political plan. On November 11, 1920, the second anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, the British Army buried an unknown wounded man at Westminster Abbey with state honors. Similarly, France buried an unknown soldier in the Arc de Triomphe. In Washington, the decorated veteran of the First World War and Hamilton Fish representative from New York proposed to the United States to do the same. The city of New York has offered to host the memorial in its new Pershing Square. Some lawmakers wanted to put the body in the crypt under the Capitol Rotunda, designed for and refused by George Washington. But in March 1921, Congress approved a measure to locate the grave in front of the newly built Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington. For Fish, who led the African-American Harlem Hellfighters into combat, the key was to honor a soldier who could have been of any rank or race. "The purpose of this resolution is to bring home the body of an unknown American warrior who does not represent in himself any part, belief or race," said Fish in a congressional testimony, " which further characterized the soul of America and the sacrifice of her heroic dead. "As work on the tomb began, European officers began the delicate work of finding an unidentified body for the It took a lot of effort to prevent the unknown soldier from being known, even a little bit, and the officials did not want anyone to fight even where the soldier was killed – Belleau Wood, Marne or the Meuse-Argonne – to better represent each victim.
A stereo image of the coffin of the Unknown Soldier, shaded by American flags, at the back of the USS Olympia, which transported him from France to the district in 1921. (Library of Congress) (Unknown) To begin, they proceeded at four funerals. remnants of American battlefield cemeteries in France and twice made sure that there was no way to find their identity, no trace of letter, rosary or distinctive mark. On October 23, they arrived at the village of Châlons-sur-Marne. In a specially decorated hall of City Hall, unmarked coffins were placed on their shipping crates, which had been draped with American flags in order to conceal the slightest hint of their cemetery. A French and American combined guard of honor was standing. Early the next morning, an American major again brewed the coffins by placing them in crates other than their own. With a crowd of onlookers outside, a military band in the yard and senior officers along the hallway, a highly decorated American man, Sgt. Edward F. Younger entered the room with a shower of white roses. After circling the four coffins more than once, Younger placed the roses on one of them, stepped back and greeted him. That morning, the Unknown Soldier embarked on an unprecedented journey from northeastern France to a bluff over the Potomac River. (The three unselected bodies were buried not far from Paris.)[[[[
The Battle of Belleau Wood was brutal, deadly and forgotten. But he forged a new navy corps.]The coffin, still carrying its wreaths of roses, was rolled across the city on a caisson, escorted by army units from both countries, generals, military bands, scouts and American legionaries. The local widows, many in black, lined the path of the station. A guard of honor remained day and night with the coffin during his train journey to Paris, then to the port of Le Harve, where more crowds, speeches and greetings were expected. The schoolchildren threw petals of flowers as they headed towards the docks. Six sailors and two marines took possession of the coffin of the Army Corps Guards and brought it to a place of honor at the back of the USS Olympia. A 17-gun salvo rang out around the harbor as the cruiser and her accompanying destroyer sailed, followed initially by eight French naval ships. "The French really enjoyed the arrival of the United States there," Bigler said. "It felt like it was an American victory." Two weeks later, Olympia was docked at Washington's Navy Yard and the ceremony was continuing. The ship was hosted by the Chief of the Defense Staff, the Navy Commander, the Navy and Army Secretaries and by General John J. Pershing. After a huge and meticulous procession to the Capitol, the Unknown Soldier was in the Rotunda, his coffin resting on the platform, or catafalque, built for Abraham Lincoln. President Warren G. Harding was among the first to pay tribute to him. His wife, Florence, placed a ribbon beside the wreath of roses. More than 90,000 people passed on November 10.
Washington Post cover page dated November 12, 1921. (The Washington Post) (N / A / TWP) The next day – Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) – the march parade Capitol in Arlington was a "procession". Without parallel, "according to the Post of the next day. The soldier's box was accompanied by the President, Chief Justice, Pershing and Chiefs of Staff, members of Congress, more than 40 fraternal group winners and the Medal of Honor. Only former President Woodrow Wilson, who had been a victim of a stroke, got into a car. "All of America, rich and poor, old and young, president and commoner, solemnly commits to the unknown hero," titled the title. More than 5,000 tickets were distributed, overwhelming the capacity of the amphitheater. Fish dropped a wreath, as did Chief Plenty Coups, leader of the Crow Nation. After the ceremonies, the soldier was lowered on a layer of soil from France and a salute of three flights was fired. It would take a decade for the budget process to replace the simple slab with the carved marble marble grave of today's Colorado, its sunset side adorned with the well-known epitaph. "Near a century later, countless flowers and crowns were placed in front of the grave (as well as the fallen unknown from World War II and Korea from later years), filed by presidents and veterans and just grateful. In the stone, under the dust of ancient white roses, rests an unnamed soldier known throughout the world. Learn more Retropolis:
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