The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier refers to a monument dedicated to the services of an unknown soldier and to the common memories of all soldiers killed in any war. Such tombs can be found in many nations and are usually high-profile national monuments. Throughout history, many soldiers have died in war with their remains being unidentified. Following World War I, a movement arose to commemorate these soldiers with a single tomb, containing the body of one such unidentified soldier. It is a tomb for unknown soldiers.
A national monument is a monument constructed in order to commemorate something of national importance such as the country's founding, independence or a war.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes. Placing a corpse into a tomb can be called immurement, and is a method of final disposition, as an alternative to for example cremation or burial.
During the First World War, the British and French armies who were allies during the war jointly decided to bury soldiers themselves. In the UK, under the Imperial War Graves Commission (now Commonwealth War Graves Commission), the Reverend David Railton had seen a grave marked by a rough cross while serving in the British Army as a chaplain on the Western Front, which bore the pencil-written legend "An Unknown British Soldier".He suggested (together with the French in their own country) the creation at a national level of a symbolic funeral and burial of an "Unknown Warrior", proposing that the grave should in the UK include a national monument in the form of what is usually, but not in this particular case, a headstone. The idea received the support of the Dean of Westminster, Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and later from King George V, responding to a wave of public support. At the same time, a similar concern grew in France. In November 1916, a local officer of Le Souvenir français proposed the idea of burying "an unknown soldier" in the Panthéon. A formal bill was presented in Parliament in November 1918. The decision was voted into law on September 1919.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is an intergovernmental organisation of six independent member states whose principal function is to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military service members who died in the two World Wars. The Commission is also responsible for commemorating Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action during World War II. The Commission was founded by Sir Fabian Ware and constituted through Royal Charter in 1917 named the Imperial War Graves Commission. The change to the present name took place in 1960.
Reverend David Railton MC MA, was a Church of England clergyman, a Military chaplain and the originator of the idea of the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior in Britain.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
The United Kingdom and France conducted services connected with their 'monumental' graves (as presumably newly conceived, and in any case approved, by their respective armies) on Armistice Day 1920 (the burial itself taking place later in January of the following year in France). In the UK, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was created at Westminster Abbey, while in France La tombe du soldat inconnu was placed in the Arc de Triomphe.
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. But, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the US First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, only ending at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.
The idea of a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier then spread to other countries. In 1921, the United States unveiled its own Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Portugal its Túmulo do Soldado Desconhecido, and Italy its La tomba del Milite Ignoto. Other nations have followed the practice and created their own tombs.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to deceased U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, United States of America. The World War I "Unknown" is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the Victoria Cross, and several other foreign nations' highest service awards. The U.S. Unknowns who were interred are also recipients of the Medal of Honor, presented by U.S. Presidents who presided over their funerals. The monument has no officially designated name.
The Portuguese Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in the Sala do Capitulo at the Monastery of Batalha, near Leiria.
In Chile and Ukraine, second 'unknown tombs' were unveiled to commemorate The Unknown Sailor.
The Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers typically contain the remains of a dead soldier who is unidentified (or "known but to God" as the stone is sometimes inscribed).These remains are considered impossible to identify, and so serve as a symbol for all of a country's unknown dead wherever they fell in the war being remembered. The anonymity of the entombed soldier is the key symbolism of the monument; it could be the tomb of anyone who fell in service of the nation, and therefore serves as a monument symbolizing all of the sacrifices.
At least one unknown has been identified by DNA analysis. This was an airman from the Vietnam War.
Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers from around the world and various wars include the following:
|Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires||Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Independence|
|Australian War Memorial in Canberra||The tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.|
|Outer Palace Gate at the Heldenplatz in Vienna||Within the 1818 neo-classical gateway to the Hofburg, the former Imperial Palace.|
|Jatiyo Smriti Soudho in Savar Upazila||Jatiyo Sriti Shoudho (Bengali: জাতীয় স্মৃতি সৌধ Jatio Sriti Shoudho) or National Martyrs' Memorial is the national monument of Bangladesh is the symbol in the memory of the valour and the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, many of whom were buried in mass graves in that park.The monument is located in Savar, about 35 km north-west of the capital, Dhaka. It was designed by Syed Mainul Hossain.|
|Shikha Onirban or 'Eternal Flame' in Dhaka||Shikha Onirban was built to commemorate the valour and the sacrifices of Bangladesh Armed Forces Soldiers died in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.|
|Congress Column in Brussels||The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the base of the location.|
|Monumento al Soldado Desconocido in La Paz||The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, center piece of the location.[ citation needed ]|
|Monument to the dead of World War II, Flamengo Park in Rio de Janeiro.||The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the monument's platform.|
|Brazilian Monument and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of World War II, near Pistoia, Italy.||Votive Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with monument pavilion.|
|Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Sofia|
|Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Haskovo.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial, in Ottawa||The tomb is located next to the National War Memorial in Confederation Square in Ottawa. It contains the remains of a Canadian soldier from World War I, who was buried near Vimy Ridge.|
|General Manuel Baquedano Square in Santiago||Contains the remains of a soldier who died in 1881 during the War of the Pacific.[ citation needed ]|
|Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizenship Square), Santiago||Contains the remains of a soldier found in Perú.[ citation needed ] Died in 1881 during the War of the Pacific.|
|Cripta del Morro de Arica (Morro de Arica Crypt), Arica||Contains the remains of a soldier found in 1998.[ citation needed ] Died during the War of the Pacific.|
|Unknown Sailor Monument||A monument built in honor to the sailors that fought and died in the Battle of Iquique, a naval battle off the coast of Chile.|
|Plaza y Monumento de los Caídos on Centro Administrativo Nacional in Bogotá|
|National Monument on Vítkov Hill in Prague||Contains remains of an unknown Czechoslovak soldier fallen at the Battle of Zborov as well as an unknown Czechoslovak soldier fallen at the Battle of Dukla, a part of a larger memorial to all Czechoslovak soldiers.|
|Flag Square of Santo Domingo||The Arc of the Square contains the tomb of the soldier who died for the freedom of the Dominicans in the Dominican War of Independence.|
|Unknown Soldier Memorial in Cairo||Also includes the tomb of President Anwar Sadat.|
|Alexandria Naval Unknown Soldier Memorial|
|Defence Forces Cemetery in Tallinn|
|Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki||In the centre of the military cemetery are the tombs of the unknown soldier and Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier behind Arch 22 in Banjul|
|Unter den Linden , Berlin||Within a 19th-century guardhouse, the Neue Wache .|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Syntagma Square in Athens|
|Heroes' Square in Budapest|
|Amar Jawan Jyoti, New Delhi||Burning in a shrine under the arch of India Gate since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal soldier) which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph with a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph has inscribed in gold the words "Amar Jawan" (Immortal Warrior) in Hindi (Devanagri script). The Prime Minister of India pays homage to the country's fallen soldiers along with the Chiefs of Staff of each arm of the Armed Forces on each Republic Day of India.|
|The Pandu war cemetery at Bandung||The Field of Honor is a memorial to the unknown soldier. There is also the Tomb of the Unknown (Dutch) Sailor in Kembang Kuning war cemetery in Surabaya.|
|Chizar, Tehran||In Iran, unknown soldiers are buried in public places. Chizar is the largest of all.|
|Behesht Zahra, Tehran|
|The Monument to the Unknown Soldier, in Grand Festivities Square, Zawra Park, Baghdad||Three monuments in Zawra Park commemorate Iraq's fallen soldiers; The Monument to the Unknown Soldier (pictured), the Victory Arch (completed in 1989) and the Al-Shaheed Monument (also known as the Martyrs' Monument, completed in 1983). The Monument to the Unknown Soldier was constructed between 1979 and 1982, and replaced an earlier Unknown Soldier's Monument built in 1959 in a different location, but dismantled when the current monument was inaugurated.|
|National Memorial Hall For Israel's Fallen in Mount Herzl, Jerusalem||The Eternal Flame Monument to Unknown Soldiers.|
|Piazza Venezia in Rome||The Tomb of the Milite Ignoto in the Altare della Patria (Vittoriano).|
|Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo|
|Ryozen Kannon in Kyoto|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the World in Ogose, Saitama|
|Dai Heiwa Kinen Tō in Tondabayashi, Osaka|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Amman||Source:|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Lebanon, Beirut, Mathaf||The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Lebanon represents the forming and independence of the Lebanese Armed Forces from the French Army in 1943. The tomb also commemorates soldiers of the Legion of Orient and the Army of the Levant during the French Mandate of Lebanon from 1920 to 1943. The cenotaph in the middle includes a Cedrus libani tree surrounded by a laurel; the main symbol of Roman Legions. Around the cedar tree and laurel reads in Arabic : "Glory and Immortality for our Martyred Heroes". Behind the cenotaph are original Roman Columns.|
|Vienybės Square in Kaunas||Tomb of Nežinomas kareivis, with remains of soldier who died in fights against Bolsheviks in 1919.|
|National Monument in Kuala Lumpur||Completed in 1966 to commemorate combatants who fought against Japanese occupation of pre-independence Malaysia in World War II and the Malayan Races Liberation Army insurgency during the Malayan Emergency. Also includes a pre-independence cenotaph, which was shifted from its original location closer to the old town of Kuala Lumpur, commemorating the war dead of World War I, World War II and the Malayan Emergency.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Curepipe|
|Heroes' Acre in Windhoek||The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains soil from Cassinga and Oshatotwa from the Namibian War of Independence.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, National War Memorial in Wellington|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Eagle Square, Abuja.||Statue of the Unknown Soldier, at the Eagle Square, Abuja, formerly located in Idumota, Lagos as Soldier Idumota, the tomb was relocated to Abuja.|
|Plaza Bolivar in Lima||Contains the remains of a soldier who died in 1881 during the War of the Pacific.|
|Heroes' Cemetery in Taguig||Contains the remains of Filipino soldiers who have joined the military and served on the Philippine Revolution, Philippine–American War and World War II.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Marshall Józef Piłsudski Square in Warsaw||Constructed as the arcade of Saxon Palace, which was destroyed by the Germans in 1944. Contains the remains of a soldier who died between 1918 and 1920.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Batalha Monastery|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Carol Park in Bucharest|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Alexander Garden in Moscow|
|Monument to the Unknown Hero on Mt. Avala near Belgrade||Memorial was built on the place where an unknown Serbian World War I soldier was buried.|
|Monument to the Unknown French Soldier, French Revolution Square in Ljubljana|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Mogadishu||A monument erected in honour of the Somali men and women who died in defense of the Somali Republic. It's popularly known as Daljirka Dahsoon, and it is an important landmark in Mogadishu.|
|Monumento a los Caídos por España, Plaza de la Lealtad in Madrid||Popularly known as the Obelisco ("Obelisk"), it is built on the same place where General Joachim Murat ordered the execution of numerous Spaniards after the Dos de Mayo Uprising of 1808. Originally inaugurated on 2 May 1840, it was re-inaugurated on 22 November 1985, by Juan Carlos I of Spain as a remembrance to all those who gave their life for Spain. An eternal flame fuelled by gas has been constantly burning on the front of the monument.|
|Fossar de les Moreres, in Barcelona||The Fossar de les Moreres is a memorial plaza in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), adjacent to the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. The plaza was built over a cemetery where defenders of the city were buried following the Siege of Barcelona at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. The plaza retains its everyday use as a public space, but also prominently features a memorial to the fallen Catalans of the war, with a torch of eternal flame and a heroic poem by Frederic Soler, "El Fossar de les Moreres".|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Damascus|
|Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial on Gallipoli||Erected for the unknown martyrs of the Çanakkale Front, which was the arena for the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Opened on 20 August 1960. Another monument[ which? ] at the same site is for the foreign soldiers (mostly[ citation needed ] Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) lost in the same clash.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Dnieper Park in Kiev [ citation needed ]|
|Monument to the Unknown Sailor, Shevchenko Park in Odessa|
|Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey in London|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia|
|Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, Washington Square in Philadelphia|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution|
|Civil War Unknowns Monument, Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia||Contains the remains of 2,211 unknown Union and Confederate soldiers from Civil War battlefields.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier at Beauvoir in Biloxi, Mississippi|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Mustaqillik Maydoni in Tashkent||Created in 1975, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated to the Uzbek soldiers who served in the Red Army during World War II.|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Carabobo Field, Carabobo||Contains the remains of a Venezuelan soldier who died in 1824 during the Battle of Ayacucho.|
|Monument of Heroic Martyrs in Hanoi||The monument to Heroic Martyrs is dedicated to the wounded and fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for Vietnam national liberation, independence, freedom and the happiness of the people.|
|Statue of the Unknown Soldier at the National Heroes Acre, Harare|
The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, France, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l'Étoile — the étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The location of the arc and the plaza is shared between three arrondissements, 16th, 17th (north) and 8th (east). The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war.
The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located before the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa, Ontario. The culmination of a project begun by the Royal Canadian Legion, the tomb was added to the war memorial in 2000 and holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I. The soldier was selected from a cemetery in the vicinity of Vimy Ridge, the site of a famous Canadian battle.
The New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is at the National War Memorial in Buckle Street, Wellington.
A war grave is a burial place for members of the armed forces or civilians who died during military campaigns or operations.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a war memorial, dedicated to the Soviet soldiers killed during World War II.
The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution, is a war memorial located within Washington Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The memorial honors the thousands of soldiers who died during the American Revolutionary War, many of whom were buried in mass graves in the square. The tomb and Washington Square are part of Independence National Historical Park.
The Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów is a memorial and a burial place for the Poles and their allies who died in Lviv during the hostilities of the Polish-Ukrainian War and Polish-Soviet War between 1918 and 1920.
The Monument to the Unknown Hero is a World War I memorial located atop Mount Avala, south-east of Belgrade, Serbia, and designed by the sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Memorial was built in 1934-1938 on the place where an unknown Serbian World War I soldier was buried. It is similar to many other tombs of the unknown soldier built by the allies after the war. The Žrnov fortress was previously located on the same place.
The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial is a 42-acre (17 ha) World War I cemetery in Belleau, Northern France. It is located at the foot of the hill where the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought, with many American fatalities. The cemetery also contains burials from the Battle of Château-Thierry, later that summer.
The Congress Column is a monumental column situated on the Place du Congrès/Congresplein in Brussels, Belgium, which commemorates the creation of the Constitution by the National Congress of 1830–31.
Next of Kin Memorial Avenue is a roadway and National Historic Site of Canada which is part of Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Trees along the roadway are dedicated to Saskatoon's war dead. On official city maps, however, the street's name is abbreviated to Memorial Avenue. Many other trees along other roadways within the cemetery are also similarly dedicated.
The British grave of The Unknown Warrior holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, London on 11 November 1920, simultaneously with a similar interment of a French unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in France, making both graves the first to honour the unknown dead of the First World War. It is the first example of a tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Pistoia Brazilian war cemetery is a former second world war cemetery located in Pistoia, Toscana, Italy. The cemetery site honors Brazilian soldiers who died in Italy, the remains of the soldiers were moved to the Brazilian Monument and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of World War II in 1960.
The United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, located at Tanggok in the Nam District, City of Busan, Republic of Korea, is a burial ground for United Nations Command (UNC) casualties of the Korean War. It contains 2,300 graves and is the only United Nations cemetery in the world. Laid out over 14 hectares, the graves are set out in 22 sites designated by the nationalities of the buried servicemembers.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a war memorial located in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of the Old Royal Palace. It is a cenotaph dedicated to the Greek soldiers killed during war. It was sculpted between 1930 and 1932 by sculptor Fokion Rok.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution honors an unidentified soldier of the American Revolutionary War, whose remains were unearthed in 1826 in Alexandria, Virginia. The memorial is in the churchyard Burial Ground of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that dates from 1772. The Meeting House is located at 323 South Fairfax Street, in Alexandria's Old Town National Historic Landmark District.
Caterpillar Valley Cemetery is a World War I Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in Longueval, France.
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