Shaping Opinion
Shaping Opinion
Encore: The Story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
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Encore: The Story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Gavin McIlvenna joins Tim on the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Gavin is president of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army, but one of the more unique experiences he’s had is the time he spent guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. In this episode, Gavin tells the story behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the symbolic and real significance of one of the most hallowed places on American soil. This episode was first releases on June 14, 2021. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Encore_-_Tomb_of_the_Unknowns.mp3 There are places throughout the United States where those who’ve died for their country are remembered with honor and where they remain. Churchyard cemeteries in places like Boston and Philadelphia to honor the Revolutionary War dead. Or battlefield cemeteries like the one in Gettysburg to honor the fallen during the American Civil War. But in America’s history, there hadn’t been a single place. A dedicated place to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedoms and for the nation. That changed after World War One. After the Great War, France and Great Britain decided to select one of their fallen soldiers to represent all of the dead from World War One. They laid an unknown soldier to rest in an honored place on November 11, 1920, just over 100 years ago. Other nations followed in similar fashion. Portugal, Italy, Belgium. All selected an unknown soldier to receive full military honors and burial at an honored place in those countries. The commanding general of American forces in France at the time was Brigadier General William Connor. He first heard about the French plans to honor their Unknown Solider during the planning phases. He liked the idea and ran it up the chain, only to be rejected by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Payton March. That was in 1919. General March felt the Americans would be able to identify all of their own dead, so there wouldn’t be any “unknown soldiers,” and he felt the U.S. had no comparable burial place for a fallen hero that was similar to Westminster Abbey in Great Britain. But on December 20, 1921, U.S. Congressman Hamilton Fish of New York introduced a resolution that called for the return to the country of an unknown American who was killed during World War One. He wanted to bury a soldier who was killed in France, and then make plans for his burial with full military honors in a tomb that would be constructed at Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb was built and is now located at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington Cemetery. On November 11, 1921, the body of an unidentified soldier who was killed in France, was laid to rest. He represents all of the unidentified and missing from World War One. Since that time, an unidentified American service member has been laid to rest at that tomb, with the highest honors, representing World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. One crypt sits empty to represent all those who remain missing. This year marks the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Please Thank Our Sponsors Please remember to thank our sponsors, without whom the Shaping Opinion podcast would not exist.  If you have the need, please support these organizations that have the same taste in podcasts that you do: BlueHost Premium Web Hosting Dell Outlet Overstock Computer Center Philips Hue Smart Home Lighting Links Arlington National Cemetery Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier National Commemoration of the Centennial, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard About this Episode’s Guest Gavin McIlvenna Sergeant Major (Retired) Gavin L. McIlvenna is the 11th President of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) SGM (Ret) McIlvenna retired from the US ...

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Shaping Opinion
Shaping Opinion
The Shaping Opinion podcast helps you see through the spin. It reveals things you may not know, and it exposes other things some may want to keep hidden. Its focus is on how your thoughts and attitudes are influenced to create change in the culture, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Host Tim O’Brien – author, senior media advisor and veteran damage control expert – empowers you with a fresh perspective. He comfortably takes you inside trending issues, stories and to the people who unravel it all through deep-dive conversations. After decades in handling high stakes and complex crisis management situations, Tim probes to uncover what’s real and what matters, and what will shape the future. Watch or listen every Monday wherever you get your podcasts.