March 31, 1951: French President Auriol At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Photograph of French President Vincent Auriol (foreground, first from the left) with other dignitaries at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery during Mr. Auriol’s visit to the United States. Accession Number 73-3559. Credit: Rowe, Abbie National Park Service (NPS) Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.

Gavin McIlvenna, President, Society of the Honor Guard,

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Independence Seaport Museum

Join Independence Seaport Museum in a conversation with Gavin McIlvenna, President of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) as he discusses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the World War I Unknown Soldier (brought home for internment on Cruiser OLYMPIA), and the Sentinels who stand eternal vigil.

Commemorating 100 Years (1921-2021)
of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
in France, Oct. 24-26

“We view the Centennial not only as a celebration to remember the burial of the World War I Unknown Soldier, but an opportunity to reflect on what the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier means to America and her allies.”

— Gavin McIlvenna, President & Centennial Committee Chairman


Dear DA France Veterans and Military Families Caucus Members,

We are honored to share with you the opportunity to participate in a series of very special commemorative events in France. The Arlington Sentinels (also known as the Tomb Guards) are here this month to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 1921-2021. The unknown soldier from World War I buried in Arlington National Cemetery died in France, and their body was repatriated to the U.S. in 1921. Click here for the story.

There are several commemorative events open to the public, Oct 24-26:

  • CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE – Sunday, October 24, 10am: 100th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony and Military Parade retracing the route taken by the Unknown Soldier in 1921 beginning at the Hôtel de Ville of Châlons-en-Champagne and ending at the war memorial. No RSVP required. Contact for details.
  • LE HAVRE – Monday, October 25, 3-4:30pm: Commemoration Ceremony at Quai Roger Meunier for the 100th Anniversary of the Departure of the WWI Unknown Soldier from Le Havre to the United States in 1921, and the USS Olympia’s mission to bring the Unknown Soldier home. It is here in Le Havre that André Maginot presented, on behalf of France, the Knight’s Cross of the Legion of Honor to the Unknown Soldier. No RSVP required. Contact for details.
  • PARIS – Tuesday, October 26, 5:30pm: Rekindling of the Eternal Flame under the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. Honor and pay tribute to the French Unknown Soldier, standing alongside French and American veterans. RSVP at
  • PARIS – Tuesday, October 26, 7pm: The Unknown Soldier Centennial Gala Dinner will be held at the prestigious and historical French Ècole Militaire with the Arlington Sentinels, American Gold Star Mothers, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and US veterans. Live Jazz band, Champagne Kir Apéro, and 3-course dinner. RSVP required – Register Here. Deadline to register is midnight October 23rd. Once you have registered, if you would also like to be seated at a DA France table, please notify Anna Marie at

We sincerely hope you can join us to remember and honor all who have served, the Arlington Sentinels, and Gold Star Mothers.

Anna Marie Mattson
DA France Veterans and Military Families Caucus Co-Chair
Cell: 0614161516

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Democrats Abroad · United States


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