You know what it’s like. We get up and go to work every single day of our lives, and we look so forward to the few holidays that roll around each year until we sometimes forget just what some of those holidays represent. This is especially true with Memorial Day, the holiday that is the kick off to summer here in Texas, the day to fire up the grill, dive in the water, go fishing, and do all of those outdoor things that Texans love to do.
Here at Texans United, we certainly hope you are celebrating this holiday weekend, but we also hope you find time somewhere in your schedule to stop and remember those who gave all to give us the holiday that goes all the way back to Decoration Day.
Some day I would like for us to look at Decoration Day, but that is not our story for this day. No, today our story is of the unknown..the Unknown Soldier to be exact.
Thankfully, advances in DNA identification have basically made osolete the days when the remains of our servicemen might never be known, leaving families to wonder forever the fate of their loved ones. However, in 1921, this was not the case and on President Woodrow Wilson’s last day in office, he set in motion what Congess approved…burying an unknown soldier killed in WWI in an area known today as Arlington National Cemetery.
On November 9, 1921, the USS Olympia and its precious cargo docked at the Washington Navy Yard. On hand to greet the unknown soldier with full military honors were the expected top brass, and the soldier was transported from the dock to the Capitol to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
Thousands of visitors filed through the capitol to pay their respects to the soldier whose body was buried on November 11, 1921, with former President Woodrow Wilson and President Harding in attendance. On that day 5,000 “tickets” were issued, and those who were fortunate enough to get them attended the funeral service in order to pay their respects to the man who had given all he had to give…including his identity.