Submitted by: Gavin McIlvenna
As we approach Memorial Day and the uncertainty of what daily life will look like in May due to COVID-19, many are wondering how we celebrate this important day with social distancing, lock downs and facemasks on our minds. For the past 95 years, soldiers of the United States Army have stood eternal vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of unnamed Americans who fell in the defense of their country and others who could not defend themselves. As our daily “norm” has changed, we can look to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Sentinels that stand the watch and see that there is something that has not changed. Our nation continues to honor these unknown soldiers, and all who have fallen, and it is a vivid reminder of how important the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is to thousands of American families who have no place to go to remember their loved one.
As the nation prepares for Memorial Day this year, and as SHGTUS (Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) prepares for the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (1921-2021), look toward the beautiful white marble on the plaza of the Memorial Amphitheater and feel the pride and honor of America as we remember our fallen.
About the author:
SGM Gavin McIlvenna, U.S. Army retired, is president of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) and is working with the government and various non-governmental organizations on the Centennial Commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (1921-2021).