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Arlington Cemetery to Allow Public to Lay Flowers at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 10/14/2021 Skye Witley
A military member places a flag in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the annual Flags-In ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on May 27, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

A military member places a flag in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the annual Flags-In ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on May 27, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

Members of the public will be allowed to walk on Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers for the first time in almost 100 years.

Arlington National Cemetery will hold special events around Veterans Day.

“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,’” cemetery officials said in a statement. 

The memorial will be open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 9 and Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees must register for the free event, bring a government-issued form of identification and are asked to bring their own single-stem flowers. Complimentary roses, gerbera daisies and sunflowers will be available. Go here for more information. 

“As the stewards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it’s our honor to lead the centennial commemoration of this site,” Karen Durham-Aguilera, the executive director of Army Cemeteries, said in a statement. “The Tomb has served as the heart of Arlington National Cemetery. It is a people’s memorial that inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning.”

Historians will be at the memorial to answer questions.

Other events leading up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration can be found here and include a procession meant to replicate elements of the World War I Unknown Soldier’s 1921 funeral procession.

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