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Help Save the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Contributed By: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org

It's hard to believe, but officials at Arlington National Cemetery plan to replace the original Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a new replica solely because of repairable cosmetic imperfections.  This 1932 monument is nationally significant and eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The 48-ton marble block has two nonstructural cracks which pose no threat to visitors or the historic structure. Surprisingly, federal bureaucrats want the replica carved from new stone that experts agree will likely again crack along its grain just as marble does naturally when exposed to the elements. Repair and proper care of the Tomb (re-grouting the cracks and using only gentle cleaning methods instead of high-pressure power-washing) is possible and is the preferred method for fixing the existing cracks, as other marble monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial were repaired.   

Once the National Trust learned about this ill-considered plan, we raised the alarm with Members of Congress and tried unsuccessfully to consult with those who administer the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

A decision to determine the fate of the Tomb Monument is expected by September 30th. Your help is needed to weigh in with decision-makers to help save the memorial.   

Please Contact your Senators and ask them and the Senate Committee on Armed Services to explore alternatives to replacing the memorial (there is a letter available at https://secure2.convio.net/nthp/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=268&JServSessionIdr007=mu2y23t3y3.app1a); and. 

Contact John Metzler (there is a letter at https://secure2.convio.net/nthp/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=269&JServSessionIdr007=mu2y23t3y3.app1a), superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery and ask him to repair rather than replace the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Keywords: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Posted: September 13, 2007
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