VETERANS DAY 2021 COMMEMORATIONS

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Public Flower Ceremony

Courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery

For First Time in Nearly 100 Years, Public Authorized to Approach Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza

10/12/2021 Arlington National Cemetery Media/News ReleaseARLINGTON, Va. — For the first time in nearly 100 years, and as part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 9 and 10, 2021.

November 9–10, 2021

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. For the first time in nearly 100 years, and as part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 9 and 10, 2021.The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Public Flower Ceremony, a two-day event, will be free and open to the public and will allow them to personally pay their respects to the Unknown Soldiers. This is a rare opportunity for the public to walk next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a privilege otherwise given only to the sentinels of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard.” ► Click here for more information and instructions on how to participate.

November 11, 2021

A virtual program may be viewed at @ARLINGTONNATL.  

A U.S. Army Military District of Washington Joint Full Honors Procession, meant to evoke elements of the World War I Unknown Soldier’s 1921 funeral procession (November 11, 2021)

An Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Laying Ceremony followed by the National Veterans Day Observance at ANC’s Memorial Amphitheater (November 11, 2021)On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the public will be invited to observe a joint full honors procession (meant to replicate elements of the World War I Unknown Soldier’s 1921 funeral procession) and a joint service flyover (aerial review) with aircraft from all branches of the military. The public is invited to stand along a special procession route to participate.

Due to COVID protocols, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting an invitation-only Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the National Veterans Day Observance at the Memorial Amphitheater. A virtual program may be viewed at @ARLINGTONNATL.  

For 100 years, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has served as the heart of Arlington National Cemetery. As a sacred memorial site and the grave of three unknown American service members, the Tomb connects visitors with the legacy of the United States armed forces throughout the nation’s history. It stands as a people’s memorial that inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning. Since November 11, 1921, the Tomb has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members, and Unknowns from later wars were added in 1958 and 1984.Throughout 2021, Arlington National Cemetery is holding a series of commemorative events, exhibits and ceremonies that will culminate on November 11 in conjunction with the National Veterans Day Observance. The public will have many opportunities to participate in commemorating the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – just as the public was involved in the 1921 ceremony.

Arlington National Cemetery is pleased to present the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Resource Guide. The guide is a one-stop resource for official DoD and ANC news and information regarding the commemorative program and events. The guide, which will be updated regularly, contains historic photographs, a program of events, media request forms, FAQs, key messages, feature stories and other stakeholder information for use or reprint.   

Download the #Tomb100 Resource Guide (PDF)

Education Highlight: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 

Commemorate the Tomb's centennial this November 9-11. Whether you are visiting the cemetery or learning virtually, our Tomb of the Unknown Soldier education module will immerse you in the history and meanings of ANC's most iconic memorial.

Part of Arlington National Cemetery's new Education Program, the module offers a rich variety of resources for teachers, students and lifelong learners—including lesson plans that align with national and state social studies standards; student worksheets and activities; walking tours (including a tour designed for families); and historical readings and photographs. In this module, learn about the history and meanings of the Tomb, as well as stories of the individuals involved in its creation. Click here to explore the materials.