American Legion post commemorates Tomb of the Unknown Solider centennial

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DES MOINES, IOWA — Veterans Day is always significant for servicemembers, but the holiday holds an extra meaning this year.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery commemorated its 100th anniversary on Veterans Day. American Legion Post 374 in Des Moines marked the occasion with a replica of the tomb outside of its headquarters.

“We wanted to do something special to highlight the dedication that is such a sacred part of our history,” said post commander Jim McLellan. “It’s such a sacred place in Arlington, so we wanted to let the public know how important it is.”

The post sought out a replica of the tomb before building their own. From midnight to midnight on Veterans Day, legionnaires stood outside the replica tomb, just as soldiers stand guard outside of Arlington’s tomb.

“It has probably taken five months to round everything up, get the plan together, and get everyone up for this” said American Legion 6th District sergeant-at-arms Bob Colin.

Both Colin and McLellan reminisced about their experience serving their country while in the presence of the replica tomb.

“Being a veteran means more to me today now that I am older,” said Colin, who served with the Army inthe Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970.

“I didn’t know as much during the time I served as I know now,” said McLellan, an Army veteran who was deployed to Germany between 1970 and 1973. “At that time, I was frightened and scared because I didn’t know where I was going to be sent. Looking back on it fifty years later, it was a privilege.”

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