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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Whitsitt leads Warrensburg DAR program

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WARRENSBURG — The Warrensburg chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution met Friday, Nov. 12 at RISE Cafe in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

The program presented by Vicki Whitsitt was focused on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  

Nov. 11 marked the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb three years after the end of WWI.  

Whitsitt traced the history of the Tomb from the Congressional Resolution to the approving legislation March 4, 1921.  

The remains to be interred in the Tomb were selected from an American cemetery in France and brought to Washington where the casket lay in state in the Capitol rotunda as approximately 90,000 people paid their respects.

Nov. 11, 1921, led by President Warren Harding, dignitaries and a crowd estimated at 100,000, the remains were placed at rest in Arlington National Cemetery.  

Initially, the site was unguarded with civilian guards added in 1925 and changing to military guards in 1937.  The tomb is now guarded 24/7.  

The guard routine symbolizes the number 21 for the highest honor military and present, a 21-gun salute.  The guard marches 21 steps south, turns east and holds the position for 21 seconds, turns north and waits for 21 seconds then marches 21 steps north. The guard then turns west and repeats the process.

From October to March the guard changes hourly. From April to September it changes every half hour.

There are currently four tombs on the site, including the unknown soldier from WWI, WWII and the Korean Conflict. 

The fourth tomb held the remains of the unknown soldier from the Vietnam War which were exhumed in 1998 and identified using DNA technology. That crypt is kept empty.

Delegates were elected for the State Convention in April in Kansas City. Regent Whitsitt will attend with delegates Christy Millen and Dee Wolfe. Alternate Delegates are Molly Dinwiddie, Meryl Lin McKean, Jan Powers, Shirley Jackson, Sharley Barry and Karman Nelson.

Contributed by Warrensburg chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

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