Veterans Day

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Marked With Procession, Presidential Visit

Thursday’s centennial procession and ceremony were designed to model the ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery 100 years ago.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC President Joe Biden visited Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in observance of Veterans Day on Thursday.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’s centennial was marked on Veterans Day with a unique ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery designed to model the original internment 100 years ago and included an appearance from President Joe Biden.

Biden called it the single greatest honor of being president to stand before so many Medal of Honor recipients after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"Our veterans represent the best of America. You are the very spine of America," Biden told a crowd at Arlington National Cemetery. "On Veterans Day and every day we honor that great debt, recommit ourselves to keeping our sacred obligation as a nation."

Biden said the country's utmost sacred obligation is to care for service members and their families.

Biden's visit came a century to the day after the remains of an unidentified American service member who died in France during World War I were interred in a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

Groups of military members, some wearing uniforms from World War I, World War II and the Korean War, marched through Arlington National Cemetery while military bands played.

The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, Arlington National Cemetery’s famed Old Guard, had military members dressed and in formations seen in those former wars. It created a tie to the three conflicts that took the lives of the three service members interred at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Military members from nine counties that participated in the 1921 ceremony attended, Arlington National Cemetery said.

The U.S. Marine Corps Ceremonial and Guard Company, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, U.S. Navy Honor Guard, the U.S. Army Band and U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard also participated.

The tomb represents all American military members who lost their lives whose names remain unknown.

Over the last two days, a flower ceremony brought long lines of people to lay flowers at the tomb. It was the first time members of the public were welcomed onto the Tomb of the Unknown Plaza in almost 100 years.

The full honors procession and flyover proceeded under sunny skies, and many trees in the cemetery were filled with autumnal gold and orange leaves.

People pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near it’s 100 year anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
People pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near it’s 100 year anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
People pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near it’s 100 year anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
People pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near it’s 100 year anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the Crow Nation prepare to place flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Alex Brandon / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX BRANDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 9: Soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” move flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on November 9, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza during the 100th anniversary of the Tomb. (Photo by Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images)
A nun prays after placing flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on November 9, 2021. (Photo by Alex Brandon / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX BRANDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 9: People walk to place flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on November 9, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza during the 100th anniversary of the Tomb. (Photo by Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 9: People walk to place flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on November 9, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza during the 100th anniversary of the Tomb. (Photo by Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 9: A U.S. Air Force officer pauses after placing flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on November 9, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza during the 100th anniversary of the Tomb. (Photo by Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images)