Tomb of Unknown Soldier to mark centennial, welcome first tourists in nearly 100 years
ARLINGTON, Va. - Arlington National Cemetery will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
For the first time in nearly a century, tourists will be allowed to visit the sacred grounds to walk and place flowers at the tomb on Nov. 9 and 10. On Thursday, the public will be invited to observe a joint full honors procession and a flyover with all branches of the military at the cemetery.
Since Nov. 11, 1921, the tomb has been the final resting place for one of the country’s unidentified service members during World War I. Since then, the monument was dedicated to many other unidentified soldiers from later wars.
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The hashtag #Tomb100 is already being used across social media platforms to mark the occasion.
Emilie Adams, 13, from upstate New York, will play Taps at "Taps in Honored Glory," one of the events leading up to Thursday’s commemoration. Adams will attend Sunday’s event at the Tanner Amphitheatre at Arlington National Cemetery.
"I feel great," she told FOX Television Stations Saturday. "I feel excited, and I feel honored.
The eighth-grader said she has been practicing her trumpet for up to an hour every day since September. She said she has been playing the trumpet since the fourth grade.
Emilie Adams (Credit: Adams Family)
"That I’m honored to be playing and that people should also respect the veterans and military and all special forces," Emilie said when asked what she wants her listeners to feel during Sunday’s ceremony.
"I just hope that they know that there’s some of us out there trying to raise our children to treat everybody with respect," Emilie’s mother, Angela, told FOX Television Stations.
Earlier this month, a historic "first" took place during a guard change at the tomb.
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"For the first time in the 84-year-vigil, on the 30,770th day of continuous guarding, an all-female guard change occurred with the 38th Sergeant of the Guard," the Old Guard tweeted.
During this time of the year, the military guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is changed in an elaborate ceremony which happens every hour on the hour from October 1 through March 31, and every half hour from April 1 through September 30.
Twenty-four hours a day, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as "The Old Guard," stand watch over the Tomb. The Tomb Guards, also called "Sentinels," are chosen for this prestigious and highly selective post only after rigorous training and a demanding series of examinations. The Old Guard has held this distinguished duty since 1948.
FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.