Madigan Muses: Honor and Remember The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
by Marilyn Madigan
This Veterans Day will be the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb is dedicated to all those who sacrificed their lives in the service of our country who remain known to God alone. All the Unknown Soldiers interred at the tomb are recipients of the Medal of Honor. The Unknown Soldier from the First World War is also the recipient of the Victorian Cross and many other service awards from other nations.
The United States Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American serviceman from World War I in Arlington Cemetery on March 4, 1921. This burial took place in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater. The Unknown Soldier was brought back from France for internment on November 11, 1921.
The Unknown Soldier was given the honor to Lay in State in the Capitol Rotunda. President Warren G. Harding officiated at the Internment.
The Changing of the Guard
Since 1921, Unknown Soldiers from World War II, Korea and Vietnam have also been interned at the tomb. Guarding the tomb started in March 1926 and continues today. The Changing of the Guard is a very dignified tradition to bestow the highest military honor to these heroes. Recently history was made by the Changing of the Guard consisting of all women.
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have also made history with the first appointment of a Veteran’s and Military Chair; Cathy Norton Doherty of New York, a Navy Veteran. This year at the ceremonies honoring Veterans Day at Arlington Cemetery, she will be participating in the Wreath Laying Ceremonies, representing the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and at the Women Veterans Memorial.
What an honor for the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and Cathie during the Centennial Ceremony of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Let us always remember and honor the sacrifices our active troops, our veterans, and all their families have made to protect our freedoms. Please visit our website at to keep informed how to help our veterans.
*Marilyn Madigan is the National Vice President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and a Deputy Director of the United Irish Societies of Cleveland. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John College and retired from Nursing at University Hospitals of Cleveland.