November 1921, the World War I Unknown Soldier was returned home from the
battlefields of France and laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery
Associated Press covered the ceremonies extensively and then provided
its subscribing newspapers across the country with a supplement of
that coverage, mainly written by Kirke Simpson of the AP.
Now, for the
first time in many years, and with the kind persmission of the Library
Bureau of the Associated Press, here are those reports.
of THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bulletin 64 New York, December 21, 1921
BULLETIN will be issued under the supervision of the General Manager
at such intervals as its purposes require. It is designed to
promulgate General Orders, changes in the personnel, notes of personal
and service interest and similar matter.
Complete Texts of the Service of The Associated Press On "The
Unknown Soldier," as sent from Washington, D.C., on Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday, November 9, 10, and 11, 1921.
ASSOCIATED PRESS has received hundreds of tributes to the beauty of
its news dispatches about "The Unknown Soldier." Written by
Kirke Simpson, for years a member of the Washington staff, the
description of the preparations to receive the body, its arrival home
from France on Admiral Dewey's flagship, the solemn ceremonies at the
Capitol, the military funeral and the entombment in Arlington
cemetery, made a deep impression on millions of American minds and
hearts. The December issue of The Service Bulletin was inadequate to
contain all the commendations and they are still coming in.
management, in yielding to an almost universal importunity for copies
of these articles, presents them herewith in compact, consecutive and
of all of any of the stories is permissible.
principal dispatches, published in this supplement, are taken from THE
ASSOCIATED PRESS night report of November 9 and the day and night
reports of November 10 and 11, 1921.
also are advance stories, sent out to our members by mail, giving a
description of the tomb in Arlington Cemetery and other features of
the Armistice Day exercises. These advance stories were sent to
certain of our members who do not receive the full leased wire report,
to enable them to have as adequate service as possible on an event of
transcendent interest to every American.
news in connection with certain features of the obsequies is repeated
in a few instances, the attention of the reader is called to the fact
that this was unavoidable.
repetitions might have been omitted but, in such a case, the report
would have been fragmentary and not a complete presentation of THE
ASSOCIATED PRESS service on one of the greatest solemnities in the
BODY OF "THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER" ARRIVES HOME
from France Aboard Admiral Dewey's Old Flagship and Tenderly Carried
from the "Olympia" to Rotunda Of Capitol.
Night Report, Wednesday, November 9.)
November 9 -- (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS). A plain soldier, unknown but
weighted with honors as perhaps no American before him because he died
for the flag in France, lay tonight in a place where only martyred
Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, have slept in death.
lonely vigil lying in state under the vast, shadowy dome of the
Capitol. Only the motionless figures of the five armed comrades, one
at the head and one facing inward at each corner of the bier, kept
watch with him. But far above, towering from the great bulk of the
dome, the brooding figure of Freedom watched too, as though it said
"well done" to the servant faithful unto death, asleep there
in the vast, dim chamber below.
unknown dead is home from France at last, and the nation has no honor
too great for him. In him, it pays its unstinted tribute of pride and
glory to all those sleeping in the far soil of France. It was their
home-coming today; their day of days in the heart of the nation and
they must have known it for the heart beat of a nation defies the laws
of space, even of eternity. Sodden skies and a gray, creeping chilling
rain all through the day seemed to mark the mourning of this American
soil and air at the bier of this unknown hero. But no jot of the full
mead of honor was denied the dead on that account.
highest officials of this democratic government to the last soldier,
or marine or bluejacket, rain and cold meant nothing beside the desire
to do honor to the dead. The ceremonies were brief today. They began
when the far boom of saluting cannon down the river signalled the
coming the of the great gray cruiser Olympia. The fog of rain hid her
slow approach up the Potomac, but fort by fort, post by post, the guns
took up the tale of honors for the dead as she passed. Slowly the ship
swung into her dock. Along her rails stood her crew in long lines of
dark blue, rigid at attention and with a solemn expression uncommon to
the young faces beneath the jaunty sailor hats. Astern, under the
long, gray muzzle of a gun that once echoed its way into history more
than twenty years ago in Manila Bay, lay the flag-draped casket. Above
a tented awning held off the dripping rain, the inner side of the
canvas lines with great American flags to make a canopy for the
sleeper below. At attention stood five sailors and marines as guards
of honor for the dead at each corner and the head of his bier. Below
on the cobbles stretch of the old dock at Washington Navy Yard, a
regiment of cavalry waited, sabers at "present" and the
black-draped gun caisson with its six black horses to carry the casket
to the Capitol. The troopers formed in line facing toward the ship as
she swung broadside to her place and the gangway was lifted to her
right a mounted band stilled its restless horses. On the ship, the
trim files of her marine guard stood at attention. Rear Admiral Lloyd
H. Chandler, to whom had fallen the duty of escorting this private
soldier over the Atlantic from France, was garbed in the full, formal
naval dress as were officers of his staff.
the ship's bell clanged out the quick, double strokes of "eight
bells" the sailors' four o'clock and the hour set for arrival,
the bugles rang again and the crew again lined the rails far above the
dock. The marine guard filed down the gangway to face the troopers
across the dock, the ship's band came down and formed beyond the
marines. On deck at the gangway head, four sides-boys took their place
on each side facing toward each other, the botswain waiting behind
them to pipe a dead comrade over the side with the honors accorded
only to Full Admirals of the Fleet.
bearing Secretaries Weeks and Denby, Assistant Secretary Wainwright,
General Pershing, Major General Harbord, Admiral Coontz and Major
General Lejeune, the Marine Commandant, and their aides rolled up,
with Secretary Weeks on the right next to the gangway and Secretary
Denby next, then General Pershing and Admiral Coontz; these highest
officers of the army and navy formed in line facing down the open
space between the troops and marines. On deck the bugles called
attention. A group of petty officers stepped forward to raise the
casket. A forward gun crashed to the first drumming roll of the minute
guns of sorrow. The Olympia's band sounded the opening chords of
Chopin's "Funeral March" and to the slow half-step and
carried high on the shoulders of his navy and marine corps comrades,
the unknown was tenderly lifted down the steep pitch to the dock.
Admiral Chandler and his aides came behind, cocked hats off in the
cold rain and held across their breasts. Below the cabinet members
also stood bareheaded in the rain, the army and navy officers at
the casket passed out through the rails, overside to the plank, the
wail of the bo'sun's pipe sounded shrilling the last salute of the sea
to the dead. It sounded oddly against the background of the dirge and
as the sound of the pipe died away, the gun forward barked again the
passing of another minute.
step the bearers labored down the plank, sanded against the slippery
murk of the rain, to the cobbled dock floor below. Again the pipe
above wailed as they stepped ashore at land and the unknown was again
on American soil.
the flag-draped casket moved down between the line of troops and
marines and under the eyes of the bluejackets standing rigidly at the
ship's rails high above. As they came abreast of the ship's band, the
dirge was stilled, a marine bugler sounded four flourishes of salute
to a general officer. Then the stirring, lifting strains of "The
Star Spangled Banner" rang out to the gray sky, the nation's own
hymn of freedom. Again the slow march to the waiting gun carriage was
taken up; again the wail of the funeral march, cut through with the
crash of the gun above, sounded. The strength of the Third Cavalry
from Fort Myer and beside it stood the eight body bearers of the Army
headed by Sergeant Woodfill, hero of heroes among Americans who fought
in France. The soldiers took over the burden at the gun carriage and
then could be seem a withered handful of flowers, the only decoration
on the flag-draped casket. They were the blooms with which this casket
was chosen from the others in France before the long journey home
began. Through it all they have lain there above the breast of the
dead, yellowing with each passing day. They will go with the unknown
to his last sleep in the stone crypt at Arlington.
casket was strapped in place, an order rang out and the cavalry band
swung off to the left, playing "Onward Christian Soldiers."
Behind them, sabers, cap brims and sodden colors dripping with rain,
came the troopers four abreast, troop after troop. Then the caisson,
the following squadron, Secretary Weeks and Denby riding together in a
closed car, General Pershing and Admiral Coontz, and behind these the
other officers and officials.
horses swung away at a slow trot. Ahead the winding road to the old
gateway was lined on either side with marines at present arms and
behind them, row after row, were packed in the thousands of just plain
American citizens who had braved cold and rain for hours to stand
bareheaded as the body of this honored fellow countryman was carried
through the gateway the cortege clattered to find other crowds lining
the way under the daylight of a fading Autumn day. It moved quickly on
through the streets, ringing to the melody of the band and the
drumming of the horses' shoes on the wet pavement. On it went, to
swing at last into the great plaza before the Capitol and there
troopers again drew up in line, facing the massive building with
sabers at "present" as the casket was lifted down and
carried up the wide stairway to be placed on the catafalque in the dim
rotunda. The two Secretaries, bareheaded, following and behind them
the officers and others. There were few in the great hall. The only
lights were those high among the pillars above the sculptured walls
and the last fading gleams of day through the high windows. The
waiting guard which would stand through the long night about the bier,
stood at present arms as the casket was carried in and set in place on
the high, black-draped structure on which the body of McKinley was
last to repose in state. There was a pause then until the ring of a
command out on the plaza, the flurry of drawn steel as the sabers of
the cavalry leaped out again to present announcing that President and
Mrs. Harding had arrived. The last rites of the day were at hand. As
the President and Mrs. Harding came into the dim chamber, brilliant
lights taped up to make possible a picturing of the scene for all
America to see. The cameras clicked. There was no other sound. About
the bier the guard stood with rifle butts grounded. Mrs. Harding
stepped forward, a wide white ribbon in her hand. She had stitched it
herself and stepping up on the base of the catafalque she laid it
across the casket, a slash of white across the rain-sodden flag with
its withered cluster of French flowers.
Harding stepped down, the President took her place and to the ribbon
pinned a silver shield of the United States, set with forty-eight
golden stars. It is symbolic of the heart of the nation that goes with
this soldier to his tomb. Then a great wreath of crimson roses was
handed to Mr. Harding and he laid it softly on the casket near the
head and gave place to Vice President Coolidge and Speaker Gillett who
moved forward together to lay the tribute of Congress, a wreath of
pink roses and snapdragons, in place. Chief Justice Taft moved forward
from the opposite side, bearing the floral tribute of the Supreme
Court, a wreath of chrysanthemums and carnations.
Weeks laid the army's token of remembrance, a wreath of white roses,
against the casket at the head and Secretary Denby placed the navy's
offering, chrysanthemums and roses, set on an easel, at the foot of
the bier. Over and to one side, against the wall, were placed the
great masses of pink blossoms that were warmed to life by the sun of
France to be carried all along the way on the Olympia. Then General
Pershing stepped forward to place his own tribute and that of the
American Expeditionary Force on this unknown, gallant comrade's
coffin. It was a wreath of giant pink chrysanthemums and as he placed
it, the officer paused a moment, then stepped back a pace or two and,
drawing his figure to its full height, lifted his hand in a rigid
salute to the dead.
spectators of these simple rites were the few clustered in the
doorways of the great chamber. The bright lights blazed for a few
moments as the President and Mrs. Harding went out to receive again
formal honors from the troops waiting below. Then the Unknown was left
alone with his motionless guard of honor that was changed at frequent
intervals through the night, alone with his head eastward toward
distant France and at his feet through a far window and the end of a
pillared corridor the twinkling lights of Washington.
side of the doorway through which he might have gazed stand the
statues of Lincoln and Grant, as though they also kept vigil. And as
the lights were switched off and the great building was wrapped in the
gloom of night, the dim twilight of the few scattered hidden electrics
let the shadows fall over the bier and fill the vast cavern of the
dome above with a mystery and a peace that will not be broken until
daylight streams again through those high windows.
THOUSANDS MOURN DEAD IN CAPITOL ROTUNDA
Poppies From Flanders' Fields and Wreaths From Rules, Soldiers, and
Statesmen of Many Lands Are Placed On Bier
Report, Thursday, November 10.)
Nov. 10, -- (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) --
small folk moved in endless procession today through the rotunda of
the Capitol to pay tribute to the Unknown Dead lying in such state
there as only Presidents have known.
was set aside for it. All who could speak for groups in the land or
for the powers of the world were free to place their floral offerings
at his bier. Hour by hour the heaping flowers about the casket grew
mountain high and spread about the vast chamber. Flowers that bloomed
in France were there and flowers brought in all their beauty from
South Africa, 9,000 miles away.
not a minute of the day unclaimed by those who would do honor to the
dead. There was no organization of veterans or of patriotic people
over the land unrepresented.
most formal of the pilgrimages to this shrine of patriotic valor was
that planned by the British Embassy. From the embassy building there
was arranged a parade headed by Arthur J. Balfour, head of the British
delegation to Washington and former Prime Minister, and Sir Auckland
Geddes, British Ambassador. Nearly a score of automobiles formed the
procession and two motor trucks carried the flowers.
from King George was among them, Lord Cavan acting for the King. It
bore the legend:
Unknown, and yet well known; As dying, and behold, we live.
a wreath, too, from Canada, its inscription saying:
which put the Glory of Grace into All that he did was that he did it
of pure Love to his Country.
from India said:
never die who die to make life worth living
were wreaths also from Australia and New Zealand, and all of these
except that from India were made of flowers grown in English soil,
brought over as living plants. From the Grand Army of the Union
Veterans came a wreath placed by Sergeant Richardson, oldest living
wearer of the Victoria Cross. There were flowers from Newfoundland,
and from the Army and the Navy War Veterans of Canada came a memorial
woven of poppies that bloom in Flanders fields. And beside all the
civil dignitaries Great Britain sent to pay homage went Earl Beatty,
Admiral of the Fleet, Air Vice-Marshal Higgins and others whose roles
in the war in which this unknown soldier died were great. The flowers
were actually handled by his comrades of many armies of the British
service, men who also fought in France or on the sea in the great
found a brilliant November sun bursting its way through the clouds of
yesterday' storm and thrusting long, golden fingers through the
windows high above the simple bier in the dim, silent chamber. As
through the night, five armed men stood motionless about the
catafalque in the center of the great granite circle of the rotunda,
watching with the dead comrade as they will watch until he is carried
away to sleep out time in the quiet Virginia hills. The flowers laid
on the casket last night had today been set on each side of the bier.
Again it lay in the simple glory of the great flag that is a soldier's
winding sheet. Again in the cluster of French blossoms withered and
yellow, was the only token on the blended coloring of the Banner of
Freedom save for the slash of white ribbon across the center, worked
and laid in place by Mrs. Harding, and the shield of the Nation for
which he died laid reverently above the still heart by the President.
as the day came on the sun drove the last sullen cloud away over the
distant hills, to leave a glorious, rain-washed sweep of blue, shot
with golden light above the dome and the wakening city, last touches
were put to the rope-lined aisles through which thousands were to pass
to pay homage to the dead; thousands whose one claim to fame is that
they, too, are simple Americans such as he who lies in such state as
emperors and kings may not know. Straight to the eastward ran the
narrow, roped way, marines in olive green of their field uniforms and
with fixed bayonets lining
side. On each man's shoulder swung the looped cords of the fourragere,
showing that they were of a marine regiment decorated by France for
high valor on French soil. Gradually the roped aisle leading on up the
great steps to the closed doors of the rotunda filled with folk come
to pass by the bier with bowed heads. Off to the right, where the
steps swept up to the Senate chamber, another group gathered about a
floral garland, the first of the many to be set in place. From the
other side, a double squad of soldiers from the Engineer Barracks,
overcoated against a long vigil in the cold of the great chamber
beside the dead, with fixed bayonets and rifles at the trail, moved up
the main steps and into the hall. They were going to change guard
about the casket, as it had been changed at short intervals through
the night, as it would constantly change all day and tonight.
on the Senate stairs were led up to enter the rotunda by the Senate
corridor. The, just at 8 o'clock, the great main doors, huge bronze
barriers, embellished with intricate figures and designs and long ago
given the American republic, strangely enough, by France, on whose
soil the soldier died, swung back and the waiting hundreds stepped
upward, four abreast, to pass by the casket. As the first line stepped
within the hall, from the group beside the bier where the flowers were
being set in place, male voices rose in blended harmonies that woke
the echoes in the high-vaulted roof above, now flooded with sunlight.
They sang the last verse of "America":
our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light.
with a peal of victory and no hint of sorrow. And the last notes died
away down the long corridors to right and left as the line that gave
the great public its place in the ceremonies moved slowly on and out
the western entrance. About the casket on its low base those who
passed by saw the five soldiers, still as though carved from bronze in
the khaki trappings. At the head, arms rigid at his sides, his own
head bent forward until tan brim of his cap hid his eyes, stood the
non-commissioned officer, the red of his chevrons coloring his sleeve.
At each corner, facing inward toward the center, stood a soldier,
rifle butt grounded on the stone flagging, body rigidly erect, but
also with head bent forward until cap brim was level with the point of
his gleaming bayonet. These soldiers moved not a muscle except at
stated intervals when slight changes of position, made simultaneously,
eased the physical strain.
o'clock a steady stream of people -- soldiers, men, women and
children, which and black -- had begun a continuous march through the
rotunda. Secretary Weeks, Assistant Secretary Wainwright and General
Harbord were present, waiting to receive foreign delegations. Floral
designs from every state, on each of which was the State's shield,
completely circled the rotunda. All delegations came in from the north
entrance and stood by the catafalque for the ceremony as the line
continued to stream through.
delegation was a committee of the Federal Council of Churches of
Christ in America, representing the Protestant churches of the United
States. Within the fifteen minuted allotted to it, prayer was offered
by Bishop McDowell of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a short
eulogy of the dead delivered by Dr. William Adams Brown of Union
Theological Seminary of New York.
drew near, the number of those in line to pass by the bier increased
in numbers, and while there were gaps in the line at times, the people
moved through almost at the rate of 100 a minute. At stated intervals
delegations approached the catafalque for a brief memorial service,
each leaving a wreath. So numerous were the wreaths that guards picked
them up and took them away, leaving room for others to come during the
day and night.
Briand, and the French delegation to the Armament Conference, carrying
a huge bunch of pink chrysanthemums tied with the tri-color of France,
entered the rotunda at 11 o'clock. The Premier stood silently for a
moment and then moved out with his party. Many persons in the public
line carried floral offerings of their own on which there seldom was a
card. In nearly every instance these voluntary offerings were carried
by a child, of all those filing through one door and our another, old
men and old women, the grandparents of some soldier perhaps, were the
most visibly affected, tears streaming down their cheeks as they turn
around for a farewell look at the flower-covered coffin.
three-foot statue symbolizing the "Angel of Peace" was
placed on the catafalque as the gift of the President of the Chinese
Republic. It was to be unveiled later in the day by the Chinese
Minister. Shortly after the American Red Cross, six army divisions and
the army and navy union tributes had been placed upon the bier, two
Hoboken war mothers pproached, saluted and added their wreath. The
ordeal, however, over taxed one of them, who sobbingly gave way to her
grief and had to be assisted out of the rotunda.
city schools let out great crowds of children joined the mourning
marchers. The oldier guard of honor was changed at intervals and negro
troops took their turn. A frail woman, aged and bent, stopped at the
bier and dropped a handful of withered roses. As she turned away and
seized a soldier by the arm and tried to have him answer, but he
remained motionless. Many of the women in line were weeping as they
left the rotunda.
afternoon drew on the crowd increased, the line, five abreast,
extending across the plaza to the east of the Capitol. From two
directions a multitude streamed, funnel-like, to find its place at the
head. Instead of being late, the programme of ceremonies by various
organizations which placed wreaths upon the coffin, was run ahead of
time. The rotunda was literally filled with flowers. Every class and
every age was represented in the line of march. There were many
pathetic scenes as men and women whose sons had not come back from the
front halted at the bier. Led by a little girl, a blind man,
responding to her signal, stopped there and, crossing himself, passed
RIVER OF HUMANITY PASSES HISTORIC CATAFALQUE
Resting Place of Bodies of Lincoln, Garfield, Grant and McKinley
Occupied by Soldier Son of the People
Night Report, Thursday, November 10.)
Nov. 10 -- (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) -- A river of humanity, American
men, women and children, Americans by heritage, Americans by election,
flowed all day today and far into the night past the bier of the
unknown soldier, under the great dome of the Capitol. It flowed as the
life blood of the nation itself -- a slow but overwhelming torrent of
humanity, gathered to attest the valor of America's dead in France.
early day until fifteen minutes before midnight the great stream
surged up the eastern front of the rotunda, four abreast, up the
granite stairway, in through the huge doorway, to pass solemnly,
reverently, by the casket and its five guards, motionless as the
statues of Lincoln and Grant at the far doorway which looked down on
the moving spectacle.
through the doorway the stream passed, through the stately corridors
and its marble stairway and down over the wide terraces of the western
front to the homes in the city below. Each hour saw thousands make the
slow journey of honor to the dead. Each hour saw new thousands pouring
up the wide driveways that circle the great building to replenish the
living stream. The Capitol police estimated that from 90,000 to 96,000
people had filed through the rotunda since 8 A.M.
the overshadowing element in the cycle of honors heaped upon this
nameless soldier, this son of the people come home to claim the great
reward his valiant heart had earned. And it was his own people, of
every nook of the nation, that silently gave this reward, more
precious than any jeweled or carven token that governments of the
world will place tomorrow above the still breast of the sleeper. To
one side of the throng that rolled carelessly by the flag-draped
casket, a second unending ceremonial of honors for the dead went on.
There great men gathered in Washington to deal with great affairs,
came humbly to place their wreaths and roses at the bier. There came
comrades, limping from wounds that brought them down in France. There
came gray-haired veterans of old wars, moved to do honor to the young,
stricken comrade of the last great struggle; there, in ordered course,
came the ambassadors and the ministers and the special envoys of
governments round the world.
were formal services here, always with the shuffling footsteps of the
human river beyond merging with the prayers and the chants and the
spoken tributes to the dead. There were some, like those wounded boys
from France, who stood awed and abashed at the solemn majesty that had
come to his comrade. They placed their wreaths in wordless praise,
their wounds and the eyes of that great, endless, living river beyond
making them awkward, their crutches and canes tapping on the cold
stones as they shuffled back into the obscurity they craved.
too, black-gowned women, many bowed and gray with age and sorrow, all
wearing in pride the golden star that tells of a son who died over
there. They brought always with their flowers the great stars that
bring to this unknown son of liberty a message from those comrades
whose named stand above all others in the roll of the nation's
servants -- the great scroll of those who, like him, died for the
flag. As the hours moved by the vast reaches of the chamber seemed all
too small to house the growing mass of flowers.
cluster was set in place, roses that blossomed in France or England,
that bloomed in Canada or South Africa, poppies that thrust up their
slender stems through blood-drenched Flanders field, and flowers of
every color and hue that blossom under American skies -- the air grew
heavy with the fragrance. Soldier guards stepped out to cover each
tribute after it had been set, and the long, rounded sweep of granite
wall was banked with wreaths and greens over its whole length, and
every vantage point over the stone floor held its weight of beauty,
its share of honor for the brave dead.
fallen before the soldiers and their comrade marines, who jointly
shared the honor of guarding the resting place of the unknown dead,
moved to check the stream of humanity that continued its measured
flow. Another moment in his great hour of all eternity had ended for
the Unknown, who is known to all the nation by his death. The lights
in the vaulted chamber dwindled and died to a dim glow, the great
bronze doors swung shut, and, along again with the tireless comrades
who kept the last vigil with him, America's Unknown from France was
left to await dawn and the coming of the cortege in which the
President and all the highest figures in American national life will
walk humbly to carry him to the grave.
NAMELESS HERO'S TOMB OVERLOOKS WASHINGTON
With the Brave of Our American Wars His Body is the Symbol of Others
Still in France
advance matter sent to our members by mail for publication in evening
papers of Friday, November 11.)
Nov. 11.-- (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) -- High on a wooded ridge beside
the Potomac, America's nameless hero will sleep bivouacked with the
brave of many wars.
about this simple tomb, over the swelling slopes or in the shaded
canyons of Arlington National Cemetery, stand monuments and headstones
on which are graven names that are also written imperishably in the
pages of glory that make the nation's history. There, too, are stones,
amid the long rows, to mark other unknown dead of other wars, and the
bulk of the monument above the single grave where rest the unknown of
the war between the States, gathered from many battlefields.
the newcomer from France among this fellowship of valor a special
place of honor has been made. He will sleep in a narrow crypt, hewn
out of the live stone that forms the terrace of the Memorial
Amphitheater erected to consecrate the memory of men everywhere who
died for the flag. Above his casket a massive block of stone, carved
with the brief legend of a nation's tribute to all those others who
sleep unknown in France, will be placed. On it also will go the long
list of honors the nation and the great powers of the world have
lavished on the soldiers who gave their identity as well as their
lives on French battlefields.
great stone towers the marble-pillared facade of the Amphitheater,
crowning the ridge and looking down over a sweeping vista of quiet
hills and peaceful countryside to the wide waters of the river. Beyond
stands Washington city in the haze of distance. Over it, dimly
visible, looms the great figure of Freedom on the dome of the Capitol;
farther down Washington Monument thrusts a slender gray finger to
challenge attention of the very sky to the deeds of peace and war it
commemorates; closer still looms the square white bulk of Lincoln
memorial, at the river brim, sealing a people's tribute to a martyred
fold, the calm hills drop away from the terrace where the sleeper from
France lies honored but unknown. At his feet a sculptured marble
balustrade sweeps out on either side, marking the wide, graceful curve
of the footway that drops down to the grass-grown slopes where day by
day many a gallant comrade from France is finding his last resting
place. Down there the new headstones gleam in countless variety. There
is hardly an hour of any day when sorrowing relatives are not moving
slowly among the new graves, giving loving care to flowers on the low
mounds. On the headstones are cut the names, the dates of birth and
death of the dead, and names of the French villages where they made
their great sacrifice. Man by man, their record is written for all to
know and honor.
the nameless one, asleep on the terrace above, there are no relatives.
He lies alone in the mystery of death. Laden with honors beyond any of
his fellows below, there is none to tell of the way of his life and
his death, of whence he came or of what he was, save that he died in
France at the nation's call. The American people are his next of kin.
he alone may sleep there within the great monument to all the nation's
honored dead. Everywhere about the Amphitheater are monuments cut with
names that touch memory to life, that bring echoes of the thunder of
guns from old, far-off battle scenes. There lies Sheridan; there lies
Porter and Crook and Doubleday, and yonder lies Dewey. Over the
peaceful slope, row on row, march the headstones of hundreds of humble
servers in the ranks like the sleeper up there on the terrace, or
again, dimly seen through the trees, goes another long column of
soldier headstones, graying with time. But officers and men, generals,
admirals, privates or the last bluejacket to join the ship before the
battle, they are all sleeping here in honored graves. Gathered they
are from Mexico, from all the far plains where emigrant trains fought
their way westward, from storied fields of the Civil War, from Cuba
and the Philippines, from Haiti and from France.
beyond the Amphitheater rises the slender mast of the old Maine,
brought from Havana to mark the resting place of her dead soldiers and
sailors and marines. It is their last muster, and for them all has
been raised the great marble pile wherein the unknown sleeper from
France keeps his vigil.
white outline of the structure, as yet unstained by time and the
shifting winds that sweep unchecked through its stately colonnade or
its cast roofless gathering place, rise amid a setting that nature
paints with new beauty as the seasons come and go. it stands atop the
ridge, footed among the evergreens and the native Virginia woods that
set it off in changing shades in summer, deck it out with the myriad
tints of autumn as the year wanes and wrap it about with the delicate
tracery of snow-laden, leafless branches in winter.
the colonnade, a double row of the great marble pillars march around
the circle wherein the marble benches are set. Facing the benches and
with its back to the terrace where stands the tomb, is the sculptured
hollow of the apse where the solemn rites for burial take place. The
structure has the lines of an ancient Greek temple, a fitting resting
place for the honored, unknown soldier who is its only occupant.
ridge beyond the Amphitheater are seen the grass-grown ramparts of old
Fort Myer with the dead clustering about them. Father along, the
pillared portico of the old Lee mansion thrusts out through the
crowding woods to look down over the vista of hill and river to
Washington. And just over the road stands the army post of Fort Myer,
its garrison flag a fluttering glimpse of color over the quiet scene,
the roar of its sunrise and sunset guns waking the echoes among the
graves of the dead; the faint, far call of its bugles singing also for
these sleeping warriors, resting in their last encampment.
CEREMONIES AT CAPITOL AND MARCH TO CEMETERY
Eulogizes Dead; Military Leaders, Supreme Court Justices and Members
of Congress Participate In Funeral Procession.
advance matter sent to a member by mail for publication in evening
papers of Friday, November 11.)
Nov 11, -- (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) -- The National capital led the
nation today in doing homage to the unknown soldier from France.
little more than broad daylight before the tramp of marching men, the
clatter of hoofs and the grind of gun carriage wheels on the great
plaza before the Capitol told that the last parade for the dead was
forming. Up past the gray mass of the building, under trees where only
a yellowed leaf here and there lingered, the khaki tide of a funeral
escort for a general of the army rolled to its place. As the troops
gathered for the march to the grave, the first far throb of minute
guns at Fort Myer over the river broke the morning silence. Through
the hours that followed the distant, dull note of sorrow sounded in
measured interval, growing closer and closer, louder and louder as the
cortege wound its way up to Arlington. The knell of the guns marked
the way of the funeral train step by step and culminated in the three
crashing salvos that signaled the last soldier farewell.
a.m. until far past noon, the distant booming wrote the story of the
minutes with but one halt, as the nation stood silent for two minutes
just after midday in honor of the dead. Up in the rotunda of the
Capitol, resting on the catafalque where Lincoln, Garfield and
McKinley laid, the casket had stood amid heaping piles of flowers,
with its silent guard of honor, a regular, a national guardsman, a
sailor and a marine, through the night at the four corners of the
bier. Then there began to gather a little group of fellow-soldiers,
each wearing a hero's decorations, to bear the casket to the waiting
gun carriage. They were led by Sergeant Samuel Woodfill, first
mentioned in Pershing's list of war heroes, and with him were
Sergeants Harry Taylor of the cavalry, Thomas D. Saunders of the
Engineers, Louis Razga of the Coast Artillery, James W. Dall of the
field guns, and for the navy, Chief Torpedo Man James Delaney and
Chief Water Tender Charles Lee O'Connor, and Sergeant Ernest A. Janson
of the marines.
great rotunda the honorary pall bearers also gathered to walk beside
the gun carriage up Pennsylvania Avenue. At their head was Major
General Harbord, executive assistant to General Pershing as
chief-of-staff, himself a former enlisted man and glad to walk beside
his honored comrade rather than ride at the head of the pageant. With
him were other major generals whose names bring memories of the war.
There was Morton Edwards of New England's 26th Division; there was
Shanks, who ruled at Hoboken while the army was going "over
there"; there was Menoher, who led the 42nd to victory, and
Bailey, O'Ryan of New York's 27th, and Rickards of Pennsylvania. For
the navy walked Hugh B. Wilson, former chief of the Atlantic fleet,
and Plunkett. For the marines was Major General Neville. Originally
General Pershing while he was still abroad was named as grand marshal
of the military ceremonies. He was to have ridden at the head of the
funeral escort, but this programme did not suit the former commander
of the American Expeditionary Forces, and he too walked behind the
casket, going afoot after President Harding and his party turned aside
at the White House.
head of the parade rode Major General Baldholtz, commander of the
District of Washington and grand marshal in Pershing's place. Behind
President Harding and General Pershing, who were flanked by their
aides, came Vice President Coolidge and Admiral Coontz, Chief of Naval
Operations; then Chief Justice Taft, walking in his place as former
President of the United States and paired with Admiral Jones,
commander of the Atlantic fleet. There, too, were Lieutenant Generals
Nelson A. Miles and S. B. M. Young, both out again in uniform. There
was Major General Tasker H. Bliss, America's representative on the
Supreme Military Council in the days when the German host drove down
toward Paris in its last great effort; there was Major General
Bullard, who led Pershing's First Army to victory; and there was Major
General John A. Lejeune, commandant of the Marine Corps who shares
with Harbord the honor of having commanded the famous 2nd Division in
action in France.
moment came, the body bearers stepped forward, tenderly raised the
casket and as they moved out and down the Capitol steps, the officer
pallbearers fell in, two by two, behind and the band began a solemn
dirge. Outside, the escort stood in motionless ranks, rifles at
present, sabers flashing in salute. Flag draped and with a few flowers
scattered over it, the casket was lifted to the black-draped gun
carriage with its six gleaming horses and its military drivers rigid
in the saddles. A motion from Major General Bandholtz, commanding the
escort, and a swing in the khaki column and the road to Arlington lay
ahead. The commander and his staff rode first, then the army band
swung out, playing in quick time for it was a long way to go. Then
came the composite regiment of foot troops, the regulars, the sailors
and marines and the national guard, then the artillery and the cavalry
and then the casket, riding high on its gun carriage on its last
the President and the high officials and officers the Supreme Court
members walked abreast, then the cabinet, five abreast, then the
governors of the nearby states, then Senator Cummins and behind him
the Senate in column, eight abreast, and in similar column the House
headed by Speaker Gillett and Representatives Mondell and Garrett as
majority and minority leaders. The roll of muffled drums marked the
next division in which were first the Medal of Honor men. Then came
comrades of the American legion, rank on rank, then bowed veterans of
other wars and a host of others marching to pay their honors to the
dead. Out into the wide avenue the column moved on over the road where
the trampling hosts of Grant's victorious legions marked out a course
long ago; where residents have ridden their way into history or back
into private life; where Pershing's crusaders of the First Division,
led by their chief, wound up their great adventure a few short months
before. Memories of great days of the past were awakened as the
pageant swung along. Who knows but that the unknown dead in France
were there too?
Treasury and on the line swing ahead, to halt only when the casket has
passed the White House. There President Harding and the cabinet and
the members of the Supreme Court and Senate and House turned aside to
go later by automobile to the Amphitheater at Arlington. The stop was
brief as they left the lines, then the cortege moved on up the avenue,
on through old Georgetown where Washington had once had his office as
a surveyor and mapped out great undertakings, on to the old bridge
than spans the Potomac and opens the way to the Military Road leading
up to the post of Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery on the
high ridge above.
bridge the band turned aside and some of the older officers of the
escort fell out, leaving it to the hardy men of today's army to escort
their dead comrade up the long hill to the roll only of muffled drums.
At the top, the line swung on across the old parade toward the
Arlington gate. There the artillery and cavalry turned aside to stand
at attention while the services at the cemetery were in progress. One
battery of guns alone moved in to the enclosure of the dead, lining up
on the right crest for the last salute.
gate the Marine Band was waiting for the foot troops and the casket
and marched in ahead. The march was slackened; that half step and the
wail of a funeral dirge sounded as it moved in narrowed formation
through the trees and clustering tombs and monuments and out over the
open spaces about the Amphitheater where thousands were gathered.
Swinging around to the west entrance to the Amphitheater, the escort
moved into line and with rifles at present, stood as the casket was
carried by the body bearers in through the high pillared colonnade to
the right and around to the space at the front where President Harding
and members of the cabinet, Bishop Brent and many dignitaries awaited
platform had been raised high and the front was a mass of flowers as
the casket bearers , followed by the officers as honorary pallbearers,
moved slowly around the colonnade. On a special stand, well to the
front, the narrow box was placed and Secretary Weeks stepped forward
as master of ceremonies briefly to introduce President Harding after
Brent concluded the invocation which opened the ceremony, the bells in
Washington across the river were ringing the noon hour. The whole
company in the Amphitheater rose and stood in silence for two minutes
as the whole nation stood by Presidential proclamation, in reverence
for the dead.
the singing of "America" rising in a mighty chorus. After
that President Harding moved forward to stand beside the casket and
speak for the nation. Far below him, out of sight under the stone
work, men toiled with nerves strained to the breaking point that no
word he said might be lost by the thousands gathered in New York,
Chicago and San Francisco about the electric sound transmitting
devices. From the top of the Amphitheater, also the amplifiers caught
up his words and threw them out into the multitude.
address President Harding pinned on the top of the casket the two most
valued decorations in America, the Medal of Honor, bestowed by Act of
Congress, and the Distinguished Service Cross, given by order of the
Commander-in-Chief who pinned it in place. From their places in the
marble boxes about the Amphitheater, the great foreign leaders rose to
pay similar honors, Marshal Foch, General Diaz, General Jacques,
Admiral Beatty so that the roll of highest honors to the brave might
be complete. There was more music then, music filled with the solemn
uplift from which religious men and women have drawn comfort in all
the years, and singers whose voices who have made them known over the
world came to add their share to the tribute.
the solemn words of the Twenty-Third Psalm and the scripture lesson;
then the body bearers stepped forward to lift the casket again and
carry in out to the sarcophagus on the Amphitheater terrace with a
vista of river and hill and stately city stretching away below. A last
touch of the spirit of France awaited the dead here. Over the floor of
the narrow crypt in which he will sleep forever, soil from France had
been spread; earth from the country where his death blood was poured
out on a stricken field that it might remain free soil. It was brought
with the casket from France and forever the nameless one of America
who died for France and for America will rest on French soil here in
his own home earth.
and the burial service marked the last rites as the casket was placed
then the triple salvo of guns burst our and before the echoes of the
last blast died, the thin pure call of the bugle sounded
"Taps," the soldiers' requiem and Good Night. As the last
long tone died away, again the guns sounded, this time in the quick
throbbing pound of the National Salute of twenty-one guns, officers of
all services standing at salute and troops at present as the cannon
roared their last tribute.
President and his party moved away to their motor cars, the band
struck up a lively quick step and stepped off across the hill and down
toward a distant gate with the troops behind it; the crowds slowly
broke up and drifted away.America's unknown soldier from France was
home forever; home to sleep.
SERVICES AT TOMB IS HEROIC AS DEAD IS LAID AWAY
Famous Fighters March Beside Gun Caisson From Capitol To Arlington;
Throngs Cheer Former President Wilson
Report, Friday, November 11.)
Nov 11.-- (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.)-- Laid to rest with all the
honors a grateful nation could pay, the unknown hero from France was
bivouacked among the gallant dead today in Arlington National
highest officers of the army and navy walked beside his coffin; none
but the hands of gallant comrades laid upon it. President Harding
walked behind his bier to do him homage; former President Wilson made
his first public appearance in months; General Pershing turned aside
an opportunity to ride and trudged beside the body to the last resting
place. Representatives of foreign governments reverently laid their
highest military decorations on his casket and with soil from France
where he fell unknown, he was laid away.
guns at Fort Myer boomed their continuous tribute as the funeral
procession was passing from the Capitol to the great marble
Amphitheater in Arlington, where the ceremonies were opened with the
playing of "The Star Spangled Banner" by the Marine Band.
Under an Autumn haze, gilded with shafts of light that broke down
everywhere, the cortege swung into Pennsylvania Avenue, the nation's
way of victory. Ahead, the broad sweep of the avenue was banked
solidly with people crowded closely for a glimpse of the cortege, of
the President, who walked behind the casket, and of all the famous men
who trudged in the column to pay honor to the dead.
more like the celebration of a great victory than a funeral.
Everywhere flags waved. They fluttered in clusters and snapped and
glittered in the sun's changing beams. They were arranged to
commemorate the opening of the arms conference Saturday. But the gay
bunting paid its first tribute to the passing of the Unknown hero. As
the process started Major General Bandholtz riding at the fore, the
gleam of bright metal showed on the breasts of the khaki clad legion
trooping behind him. By general order, every officer and man of the
army and navy who took part wore today his medals and decorations
conferred by a grateful people. There were no foreign decorations to
be seen. The Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service
Medal, the Victory Medal and tokens that spoke of high deeds in older
wars, alone were in evidence. The avenue was free of obstruction, from
the great, gray bulk of the capitol on its hill to the eastern end, to
the pillared front of the Treasury nearly a mile away. Even the trees
that spread a relieving band of green and grateful shade along the way
under summer suns, stood with branches almost stripped of leaves; only
here and there a clustering mass of yellow or autumn bronze hid the
view from the windows, crowded with faces, that looked down the broad
President Wilson, riding in a carriage with Mrs. Wilson, joined in the
procession as it swung around the north end of the Capitol. As he
turned into Pennsylvania Avenue the crowds along the way cheered him.
A fringe of Boy Scouts, armed with white staffs, and also police,
stood close along the ropes that held back the quiet crowds as the
funeral train moved along at shorter step than the army knows, because
of the old men who defied affirmities of age to walk behind the
nation's nameless one of fame.
little cheering and no waving of flags, but the great hush of respect
for the dead. First came a row of motorcycle police, then the mounted
officers, then Major General Bandholtz and his staff, horses dancing a
little in the cool air and under the restraint of the bridle. Then a
great army band, the solemn strains of a funeral dirge, its cadences
marked by the thud of muffled drums. Next moved the first of the
soldier and sailor escort, a platoon of infantry with fixed bayonets
gleaming, behind them the war colored carts of horse-drawn machine
guns. They moved in the square block formation and behind these, in
the same solid blocks, came the sailors, white-hatted and with long
streamers of crepe drooping from their colors. Then came the clergy,
headed by Bishop Brent, former Senior Chaplain of the A.E.F., who
later was to commit the body to the tomb. With him were Chaplain
Lazaron of the Reserve and Chaplains Frasier of the Navy and Axton of
behind them rolled the flag-draped coffin borne on the caisson with
the honorary pallbearers, all Admirals and Generals, marching on the
outside of the column beside it and the eight distinguished living
heroes selected as body bearers walking on the inside of the column.
Hats came off in the crowds as the solemn moment passed. Six black
horses with drivers rigid in the saddle drew the funeral car on the
gun limber. The simple flag-draped casket rode high, with only a
handful of the flowers and tokens that had been lavished to deck it.
Among them lay the withered cluster of French blossoms that had come
with him all the journey home.
following the Unknown hero's body walked President Harding and General
Pershing side-by-side, with their aides at a short distance. Admiral
Coontz, Vice President Coolidge, Admiral Jones, commanding the
Atlantic fleet, and Chief Justice Taft came next.
President and the man who led the American armies overseas walked
almost alone. The President was clad in black mourning dress with silk
hat and marched step for step with General Pershing, who wore of his
many war decorations only the Victory Medal that every comrade of the
war may wear.
President Wilson was to have come next in the line, according to
programme, but having arrived late at the start he took a place
further back. The Supreme Court followed and then Lieutenant Generals
Young and Miles, former commanders of the army. Then came the cabinet,
marching in two lines, Governors of some States followed, and then
Major General Lejeune, commander of the Marine Corps, and Senator
Cummins, President pro tempore of the Senate. Then came members of the
Senate marching in a column of eights. Speaker Gillett and members of
the House of Representatives came next. Holders of the Medal of Honor
marched eight abreast. Then came one hundred and thirty-two
representatives of all who served in the World War coming not more
than three from a State. War veteran societies followed.
9:15 o'clock when the head of the procession reached the White House.
When the caisson had passed, President Harding turned out of his place
in the line and, after passing through the executive officers, went to
the front of the White House grounds to review the remainder of the
line as it passed on its way to Arlington. The President later took a
motor car to the Amphitheater. While the President was reviewing the
procession, there came a moment's delay and he stepped into the street
and shook hands with the Medal of Honor men. When former President
Wilson passed in his carriage, Mr. Harding saluted him by taking off
his hat and the former President returned the salute. The crowd
cheered. The reverent silence all along the line had only been broken
by handclapping and some cheers as the former President passes by.
After passing the White House, Mr. Wilson's carriage turned out of the
procession and drove him home.
Mr. Wilson's first public appearance since March 4, when he rode up
Pennsylvania Avenue with President Harding. The comment was heard in
the crowd that the former President, long a sick man, looked better
than many folk expected.
many of the notables followed President Harding's lead and turned out
of the procession at the White House, General Pershing and Secretary
Weeks and Secretary Denby, however, continued on the long march to
Arlington. While the remainder of the procession was winding it way to
Arlington, the great Amphitheater was filling with guests invited to
the ceremony. The body was to arrive there, according to the programme,
at 11:15 o'clock. After winding its way between long lines of a
reverent multitude in the streets of the Capital, the funeral
procession toiled up the long hill leading to Arlington, arriving at
the main gates a little after 11 o'clock. The invited guests had begun
to assemble long before within the white marble walls of the
Amphitheater overlooking the still flowing Potomac and the Capitol
itself nestling in the blue haze of a Fall day. The guests, including
great chieftains of the war, were seated in the boxes and on the long
rows of marble benches and thousands were standing. Thousands more
stood outside, or anywhere merely to be near.. The first strains of
Chopin's "Funeral March" heralded the coming of the Unknown
to his great honors.
among the trees toward the fort the dull dun color of moving troops
showed and, marching half-step to the throbbing beat of the drums, the
Marine Band swung slowly out to circle the great colonnade to the
entrance where the surpliced choir waited. Just before 11:15 o'clock
the caisson rolled up to the west entrance and the flag-draped coffin
was removed by the bodybearers.
solemn chords of a hymn joined the deep notes of the band. The choir
sang "The Son of God Goes Forth To War" and the telephone
amplifiers caught up the notes and threw them out over the land to the
thousands standing as far away as San Francisco. Preceded by the choir
and the clergy, the coffin was borne through the west entrance around
the right colonnade to the apse and was placed on the catafalque. The
great audience rose and stood uncovered as it passed in, followed by
General Pershing and the distinguished officers of the army and navy
as mourners. On its simple base, a hundred yards from where it will
lie for all eternity, the casket of America's Unknown rested as though
supported by a mountain of blossoms of every color and kind from
nations all over the world.
Foch and his staff came in with all his war medals across his breast.
General Jacques, the Belgian chief, also came and the two strolled
about the marble colonnade behind their boxes exchanging greetings.
General Diaz of Italy joined them. Together, the three moved with the
Japanese Mission to the place where the body lay. Ambassador Geddes,
in full British diplomatic uniform, brought flower offerings for the
dead from England's King, with a guard of British soldiers. Chief
Plenty Coos of the Crow Indians, attired in full war regalia,
feathered bonnet, furs and skins of variegated colors, was seated on
the platform, joining the group of distinguished military leaders from
Europe. Thus the uniform of the first American took its place with
those of its Allied Powers in the last war. A group of Indian braves
appeared in the audience, tiptoeing in their beaded moccasins down the
aisle to their seats.
Briand of France was among the last to arrive. As former President
Taft took his seat Admiral Beatty appeared, surrounded by his
officers. Exactly on time, at 11:50 o'clock, President and Mrs.
Harding came in and took their places. Almost immediately the Marine
Band began to play "The Star Spangled Banner," the silver
notes echoing down the river valley and up into the arches of the
wooded hills. At the conclusion of the anthem, Chaplain Axton
pronounced the invocation as follows:
God, our gracious Father: in simple faith and
trust we seek Thy blessing. Help us fittingly to honor our
unknown soldiers who gave their all in laying sure
foundations of international commenweal. Help us to keep
clear the obligation we have toward all worthy soldiers,
living and dead, that their sacrifices and their valor fade
not from our memory. Temper our sorrow, we pray Thee,
through the assurance, which came from the sweetest lips that
ever uttered words, 'Blessed are they that mourn, for they
shall be comforted.' Be Thou our comforter.
"Facing the events on the morrow, when from the work
bench of the world there will be taken an unusual task, we
ask Thou wilt accord exceptional judgement, foresight and
tactfulness of approach to those who seek to bring about a
better understanding among men and nations, to the end that
discord, which provokes war, may disappear that there may be
"Hear us, O Lord, as now, in obedience to the call of
our President, there sounds throughout the land the national
Angels calling to prayer, and we stand with bowed heads and
reverent hearts in silent thanks for the valor and valorous
lives and in supplication for divine mercy and blessing upon
our beloved country: And upon the nations of the earth and to
Thee, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace, shall be ascribed all glory and honor
chaplain concluded the invocation the sudden clear note of the army
trumpet call "Attention" marked noon and the Nationwide two
minute pause. The whole company stood in bowed silence.
transmission of this dispatch was interrupted for two minutes at this
point while all employees of the Associated Press stood at attention].
absolute silence, a hush as if the world had stopped. The opening
notes of "America" signaled the ending of the two minute
period and the great chorus was caught up and swept over the hills;
the thousands outside joined in the mighty hymn of love of country. As
the last grand notes died away Secretary Weeks stepped to his place
before the bier and his brief speech as master of ceremonies. He said:
"We are gathered, not to mourn the passing of a great General or
other conspicuous person, but an unknown soldier of the Republic, who
fought to sustain a great cause for which he gave his life. Whether he
came from the North or the South, the East or the West, we do not
know. Neither do we know his name, his lineage or any other fact
relating to his life or death, but we do know that we a typical
American who responded to his country's call and that he now sleeps
with the heroes.
who are gathered here in such numbers, are simply representative of
all the people of the United States, who are here in spirit and whose
sentiments have been more deeply stirred by this event than any in the
life of our country. These sentiments can only be adequately expressed
by one citizen -- the President of the United States."
afterward President Harding began delivering his address -- a tribute
in the name of the American people to the man who slept beneath the
flag. As Mr. Harding spoke, the sun drove through the haze and
splashed the whole great gathering with golden light, as thought it
also would lay its lifegiving hand in commendation on the humble,
faithful servant at rest. There was unbroken silence as the President
spoke. Every tone of his voice showed the emotion he felt as he read
slowly and distinctly so that his words might be caught by the
electric appliances and sent winging across the nation to gatherings
listening beside the far Pacific, at San Francisco, and another
multitude drawn together in mourning in New York.
President concluded a clear blue sky spread above the white bowl
turned up from the green hills below, as though it also offered a
tribute of emotion and high feeling of the mystery beyond, into which
the lonely sleeper had gone forever. It was as though all the solemn
words and chords were lifted to Him above.
warming sun rained down its rays on those gathered to do honor to the
dead. Its beams struck in beneath the pillars of the colonnade to
paint the white arches with dark, gold-toned shadows over the heads of
the great men standing there in tribute.
a dramatic moment as the President concluded, when, touching on the
coming conference in Washington, he said it should be the beginning of
a better civilization, a more lasting peace, and then ended his
address with a recitation of the Lord's Prayer in which thousands
joined, their strong, earnest tones rolling up the pledge of faith to
the sunlight above.
conclusion of the prayer a quartet of singers from the Metropolitan
Opera House of New York sang "The Supreme Sacrifice."
Valiant hearts, who to your glory come,
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame.
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved.
Your memory hallowed in the land you love."
voices chanted, and those other valiant hearts asleep all about on the
slopes of Arlington must have heard and felt it was for them also that
America made this day her own and theirs.
Fenton of the General Staff then stepped forward and handed Secretary
Weeks the velvet-lined boxes containing the Nation's highest token of
valor. Secretary Weeks took the Congressional Medal of Honor and the
Distinguished Service Cross from their cases and handed them to
President Harding. The President leaned over the casket and, side by
side at the head, pinned both in place. Then Lieutenant General Baron
Jacques of Belgium stepped forward. he paused beside the casket, then
clutching the Belgian Croix de Guerre on his own breast, tore it from
the cloth of his tunic to pin it on the flag-draped casket. The
Belgian Chief stepped back and his hand shot to his cap brim in
Victoria Cross, Britain's most prized war decoration, never before
placed on the breast of a man not a British subject, was next
bestowed. Earl Beatty, Admiral of the Fleet, set it on the flag and
saluted as he stepped back. Then General, the Earl of Cavan,
representing the King of England in person, spoke briefly on the
services this humble soldier had rendered not only to America but to
the world there in France.
Foch of France, with every show of feeling, placed above the quiet
breast the Medaille Militaire and the Croix de Guerre. He cited this
dead soldier for valor, speaking in French, saluted and turned away to
let General Diaz bring forward and pin in place Italy's Gold Medal for
the Roumanian Vitutea was added to the gleaming row on the casket by
Prince Bibesco, Rumanian Minister, the Czecho-Slovak War Cross by Dr.
Stepaner, Minister here, and he Virtuti Militari by Prince Lubomirski,
Polish Minister. Cuba also bestowed her gift upon the soldier dead.
conclusion of that part of the ceremony the quartet sang "Oh,
God, Our Help in Ages Past," and Chaplain Lazaron, read a psalm.
Then there was a soprano solo, "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,"
and Chaplain Frazier read the Scripture Lesson.
by the band and led by the quartet, the great audience lifted its
voice in "Nearer My God To Thee," the deathbed hymn of the
martyred McKinley. That completed the ceremonies for that part, and
the coffin was next borne from the apse and out to the sarcophagus,
preceded by the clergy and followed by the pallbearers, the President
and Mrs. Harding, Vice President and Mrs. Coolidge, the senior foreign
delegates to the Arms Conference, Secretary Hughes, Secretary Weeks,
Secretary Denby, the foreign officers who had left decorations,
General Pershing and the others who had been seated in the apse in the
Amphitheater. Meanwhile the band played in measured tones "Our
ceremony of committing the Unknown Hero to the stone crypt with earth
from the soil of France then followed, conducted by Bishop Brent. As
the body was committed to the crypt the last monument of the solemn
ceremony was at hand. At slow half step to the dirge-like music of the
band the casket was carried out to the moulded stone work that
surrounds the resting place. The band played "Lead, Kindly
Light" as the pallbearers laid the casket on the silver railing
over the crypt. Generals and admirals of the Unknown Soldier's guard
stood bareheaded. Out over the rolling slope below thousands more also
stood in reverence.
Brent stepped to the casket to read the burial service, and the
wreaths and flowers were brought forward. As the casket was placed in
bodybearers gave place to the high officers, headed by Major General
Harbord and Admiral Rodman, who lowered it tenderly into the crypt.
The last wreaths were placed by war mothers. Mrs. R, Emmitt Digney
laid in place of token of American mothers whose sons died in the war.
For British mothers, Mrs. Julia McCudden placed the treasured English
flowers she brought all the way to lay at the bier. Then the Indian
Chief, Plenty Coos, in the splendor of his tribal costume, laid his
coup stick and the war bonnet from his head on the tomb.
crashing salvo of artillery roared. Three rolling thundering blasts
sounded while the long lines of troops stood at "present
arms." Then "Taps," the soldiers' requiem, sounded, to
be followed by a quick booming of twenty-one guns, the National
Unknown Hero was at rest in his majestic shrine among the quiet hills.
He lies unknown but not unhonored nor unsung.
BUGLES SOUND TAPS FOR WARRIOR'S REQUIEM
"The Unknown Soldier," Home From the War, Will Be Told By
Americans For All Time to Come.
Night Report, Friday, November 11.)
Nov. 11 (BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS). -- Under the wide and starry skies
of his own homeland America's unknown dead from France sleeps tonight,
a soldier home from the wars.
lies in the narrow cell of stone that guards his body; but his soul
has entered into the spirit that is America. Wherever liberty is held
close in men's hearts, the honor and the glory and the pledge of high
endeavor poured out over this nameless one of fame, will be told and
sung by Americans for all time.
across the marble arch of the memorial raised to American soldier and
sailor dead, everywhere, which stands like a monument behind his tomb,
runs this legend: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall
not have died in vain." The words were spoken by the martyred
Lincoln over the dead at Gettysburg. And today with voice strong with
determination and ringing with deep emotion, another President echoed
that high resolve over the coffin of the soldier who died for the flag
in the world's affairs heard that high purpose reiterated by the man
who stands as head of the American people. Tomorrow they will gather
in the city that stands almost in the shadow of the new American
shrine of liberty dedicated today. They will talk of peace; of the
curbing of the havoc of war.
speak of the war in France, that robbed this soldier of life and name
and brought death to comrades of all nations by the hundreds of
thousands. And in their ears when they meet must ring President
Harding's declaration today beside the flag-wrapped, honor laden bier.
must be, there shall be, the commanding voice of a conscious
civilization against armed warfare."
across the seas, other unknown dead, hallowed in memory by their
countrymen, as this American soldier is enshrined in the heart of
America, sleep their last. He, in whose veins ran the blood of British
forebears, lies beneath a great stone in ancient Westminister Abbey;
he of France, beneath the Arc de Triomphe, and he of Italy under the
altar of the Fatherland in Rome.
seemed today that they, too, must be here among the Potomac hills to
greet an American comrade come to join their glorious company, to
testify their approval of the high words of hope spoken by America's
President. All day long the nation poured out its heart in pride and
glory for the nameless American. Before the first crash of the minute
guns roared its knell for the dead from the shadow of the Washington
Monument, the people who claim him as their own were trooping out to
do him honor. They lined the long road from the Capitol to the
hillside where he sleeps tonight; they flowed like a tide over the
slopes about his burial place; they choked the bridges that lead
across the river to the fields of the brave, in which he is the last
As he was
carried past through the banks of humanity that lined Pennsylvania
Avenue a solemn, reverent hush held the living walls. Yet there was
not so much of sorrow as of high pride in it all, a pride beyond the
reach of shouting and the clamor that marks less sacred moments in
in the broad avenue was a simple soldier, dead for honor of the flag.
He was nameless. No man knew what part in the great life of the nation
he had filled when last he passed over his home soil. But in France he
had died as Americans often have been ready to die, for the flag and
what it means. They read the message of the pageant clear, these
silent thousands along the way. They stood in almost holy awe to take
their own part in what was theirs, the glory of the American people,
honored here in the honors showered on America's nameless son from
sailors and marines -- all played their part in the thrilling
spectacles as the cortege rolled along. And just behind the casket,
with its faded French flowers on the draped flag, walked the
President, the chosen leader of a hundred million, in whose name he
was chief mourner at his bier. Beside him strode the man under whom
the fallen hero had lived and died in France, General Pershing,
wearing only the single medal of Victory that every American soldier
might wear as his only decoration.
on row, came the men who lead the nation today, or have guided its
destinies before. They were all there, walking proudly with age and
frailties of the flesh forgotten. Judges, Senators, Representatives,
highest officers of every military arm of the overnment and a trudging
little group of the nation's valorous sons, the Medal of Honor men.
Some were gray and bent and drooping with old wounds; some trim and
erect as the day they won their way to fame. All walked gladly in this
nameless comrade's last parade.
these came the carriage in which rode Woodrow Wilson, also stricken
down by infirmities as he served in the highest place of the nation,
just as the humble private riding in such state ahead had gone down
before a shell or bullet. For that dead man's sake, the former
President had put aside his dread of seeming to parade his physical
weakness and risked health, perhaps life, to appear among the mourners
for the fallen.
handclapping and a cheer here and there for the man in the carriage, a
tribute to the spirit that brought him to honor the nation's nameless
hero, whose commander-in-chief he had been.
President Harding and most of the high dignitaries of the government
had turned aside at the White House, the procession, headed by its
solid blocks of soldiery and the battalions of sailor comrades, moved
on with Pershing, now flanked by Secretaries Weeks and Denby, for the
long road to the tomb. It marched on, always between the human orders
of the way of victory the nation had made for itself of the great
avenue; on over the old bridge that spans the Potomac, on up the long
hill to Fort Myer, and at last to the great cemetery beyond, where
soldier and sailor folk sleep by the thousands. There the lumbering
guns of the artillery swing aside, the cavalry drew their horses out
of the long line and left to the foot soldiers and the sailors and
marines the last stage of the journey.
the white marble of the Amphitheater gleamed through the trees. It
stands crowing the slope of the hills that sweep upward from the river
and just across was Washington, its clustered buildings and monuments
to great dead who have gone before, a moving picture in the Autumn
the thousands were moving about the great circle of the Amphitheater.
The great ones to whom placed had been given in the sacred inclosure
and the plain folk who trudged the long way just to glimpse the
pageant from agar, were finding their places. Everywhere within the
pillared inclosure bright uniforms of foreign soldiers appeared. They
were laden with the jeweled order of rank to honor an American private
soldier, great in the majesty of his sacrifices; in the tribute his
honors paid to all Americans who died.
below the platform placed for the casket, in a stone vault, lay
wreaths and garlands brought from England's King and guarded by
British soldiers. To them came the British Ambassador in full uniform
of his rank and to bid them keep these tributes from overseas sage
against that hour.
platform gathered men whose named ring through history -- Briand, Foch,
Beatty, Balfour, Jacques, Diaz and others -- in a brilliant array of
place and power. They were followed by others, Baron Kato from Japan,
the Italian statesmen and officers, by the notables from all countries
gathered here for tomorrow's conference and by some of the older
figures in American life too old to walk beside the approaching
around the circling pillars the marbled box filled with distinguished
men and women, with a cluster of shattered men from army hospitals
accompanied by uniformed nurses. A surpliced choir took its place to
wait the dead. Faint and distant, the silvery strains of a military
band stole into the big white bowl of the Amphitheater. The slow
cadences and mourning notes of a funeral march grew clearer amid the
roll and mutter of the muffled drums.
arch where the choir waited the heroic dead, comrades lifted his
casket down and, followed by the Generals and the Admirals, who had
walked beside him from the Capitol, he was carried to the place of
honor. Ahead moved the white-robed singers, chanting solemnly.
Carefully, the casket was placed above the banked flowers and the
Marine Band played sacred melodies until the moment the President and
Mrs. Harding stepped to their places beside the casket; then the
crashing, triumphant chords of "The Star Spangled Banner"
swept the gathering to its feet again.
carried over the crowd by amplifiers so that no word was missed, took
a moment or two, then the sharp, clear call of the bugle rang
"Attention!" and for two minutes the nation stood at pause
for the dead, just at high noon. No sound broke the quiet as all stood
with bowed heads. It was much as though a mighty hand had checked the
world in full course. Then the band sounded and in a mighty chorus
rolled up the words of "America" from the hosts within and
without the great open hall of valor.
Harding stepped forward beside the coffin to say for America the thing
that today was nearest to the nation's heart, that sacrifices such as
this nameless man, fallen in battle, might perhaps be made unnecessary
down through the coming years. Every word that President Harding spoke
reached every person through the amplifiers and reached other
thousands upon thousands in New York and San Francisco.
Harding showed strong emotion as his lips formed the last words of the
address. He paused, then with raised hand and head bowed, went on in
the measured, rolling period of the Lord's Prayer. The response that
came back to him from the thousands he faced, from the other thousands
out over the slopes beyond, perhaps from still other thousands away
near the Pacific, or close packed in the heart of the nation's
greatest city, arose like a chant. The marble arches hummed with the
foreign officers who stand highest among the soldiers or sailors of
their flags came one by one to the bier to place gold and jeweled
emblems for the brave above the breast of the sleeper. Already, as the
great prayer ended, the President had set the American seal of
admiration for the valiant, the nation's love for the brave deeds and
the courage that defies death, upon the casket. Side by side he laid
the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. And below, set
in place with reverent hands, grew the long line of foreign honors,
the Victoria Cross, never before laid on the breast of any but those
who had served the British flag; all the highest honors of France and
Belgium and Italy and Rumania and Czech-Slovakia and Poland.
General Jacques of Belgium it remained to add his own touch to these
honors. He tore from the breast of his own tunic the medal of valor
pinned there by the Belgian King, tore it with a sweeping gesture, and
tenderly bestowed it on the unknown American warrior.
the religious services that followed, and prayers, the swelling crowd
sat motionless until it rose to join in the old, consoling "Rock
of Ages," and the last rite for the dead was at hand. Lifted by
his hero bearers from the stage, the unknown was carried in his
flag-wrapped, simple coffin out to the wide sweep of the terrace. The
bearers laid the sleeper down above the crypt on which had been placed
a little of the soil of France. The dust his blood helped redeem from
alien hands will mingle with his dust as time marches by.
simple words of the burial ritual were said by Bishop Brent, flowers
from war mothers of America and England were laid in place. For the
Indians of America Chief Plenty Coos came to call upon the Great
Spirit of the Red Men, with gesture and chant and tribal tongue that
the dead should not have died in vain, that war might end, peace be
purchased by such blood as this. Upon the casket he laid the coup
stick of his tribal office and the feathered war bonnet from his own
head. Then the casket, with its weight of honors, was lowered into the
blast of gunfire rang from the woods. The glittering circle of
bayonets stiffened to a salute to the dead. Again the guns shouted
their message of honor and farewell. Again they boomed out; a loyal
comrade was being laid to his last, long rest.
clear and true in the echoes of the guns, a bugle lifted the old, old
notes of Taps, the lullaby for the living soldier, in death his
requiem. Long ago some forgotten soldier poet caught its meaning clear
and set it down that soldiers everywhere might know its message as
they sink to rest:
Goeth day, cometh night,
And a star,
Leadeth all, speedeth all,
To their rest."
roared out again in the National Salute. He was home, The Unknown, to
sleep forever among his own.