By Lauren Ingeno
One week before Veterans Day, George Washington President Steven Knapp honored Americans who have fought and died in war by participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Dr. Knapp was joined by student veteran Verónica María Hoyer, George Washington University Board of Trustees member Mark Shenkman, M.B.A. ’67, and Vice Admiral (retired) Melvin G. Williams, associate provost for military and veterans affairs.
“We have more than 1,000 student veterans and dependents who are using GI Bill benefits at the university. And many others have friends and family who have died on behalf of our country,” Dr. Knapp said. “I think this ceremony is very meaningful for a large portion of our student community.”
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier sits atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. The stone sarcophagus is above the grave of a World War I unknown soldier, and west of it are crypts of unknown soldiers from World War II and Korea. The soldier that had been buried in the Vietnam War grave was identified in 1998, and that crypt now remains vacant.
As the cemetery bells chimed at 11 a.m., members of the GW wreath-laying party and more than 75 others from the university, including senior administration, deans, students and NROTC members, silently witnessed the Changing of the Guards, which occurs every hour in front of the tomb.