MOUNT VERNON — “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God” is the epitaph inscribed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Former Arlington National Cemetery Sentinel Kevin Welker visited Mount Vernon Middle School eighth grade students at the high school Friday morning and explained the significance of this epitaph and many other aspects of being in the Honor Guard.
Welker is a for-life member of the cemetery Honor Guard and the current Vice President of the Honor Guard society. He explained to the students that one of the highlights of his career as a sentinel was performing as a wreath-bearer for President Clinton on his Memorial Day visit.
“Every President since Calvin Coolidge has visited the cemetery at least once during their term, usually during Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day ceremonies,” Welker explained.
The tomb represents all of the unknown or missing American soldiers, and the cemetery as a whole contains the remains of soldiers from every war the United States has been a part of, including the Revolutionary war, which happened before the cemetery was founded, Welker told the students.