The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series


By Allison S. Finkelstein, Ph.D., Senior Historian, Arlington National Cemetery

In the months after the 2021 centennial of the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) has continued to make the programs created for this anniversary accessible to the public online. On May 30, 2022—Memorial Day—ANC released a major virtual project as part of this ongoing effort: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series.

This virtual lecture series originated in the interpretive programming developed by the ANC History Office during the culminating week of the Tomb Centennial. On November 9 and 10, 2021, the public had the rare opportunity to walk near the Tomb and lay a flower there in tribute to America’s unknown service members. Thousands of people participated. To enhance this experience, the ANC History Office organized a series of in-person interpretive lectures to provide more context about the history, legacy, and meanings of the Tomb. Held in the historic Memorial Amphitheater, this program brought together experts from Arlington National Cemetery and throughout the federal government.

To make the lectures available digitally to those who could not attend in person, ANC asked these experts to come back and record their talks. We are excited to share their fascinating presentations with the public through the twelve episodes in our Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series. Each episode has it its own corresponding webpage with resources and photos for further exploration.

Access the lecture series here and learn more about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from anywhere in the world.