DES MOINES, Iowa — This year, Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
In Des Moines, American Legion Post 374 Highland Park will be hosting a scale model of the tomb, and it will be on display for 24 hours on Veterans Day. The American Legion was involved in the founding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“We have a half-scale replica of the tomb that is from the post in Shellsburg, Iowa,” said Jim McLallen, Post Commander at Post 374. “We’ll put right in the front door we have two large signs on either side explaining what it is. We’re going to post our POW-MIA chair in front of the tomb and then will have sentry standing watch for those 24 hours on 11 November.”
Volunteers from other Legion posts will take one-hour shifts over the 24 hours.
“Back in 1921 people believed the war to end all wars, was over, and we were done with war and we should commemorate and honor the unknown soldier,” said McLallen. “The tactics used and the brutal use of artillery, it was common for soldiers not to be identified in World War I.”
The public will be invited to drive by 3713 2nd Avenue in Des Moines to view the display on Veterans Day. There is also a parking lot on the north side of the building for those who want to stop.