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Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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American Rose Center to participate in salute

The American Rose Center will commemorate Veterans Day and the Centennial of the on Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. and honor a Louisianan who brought the soldier from France to the United States.

The national salute will be held in the David and Sandy Long “Never Forget” garden. These gardens are a project of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. David is a Navy veteran who manned nuclear submarines as an engineer during the Cold War.

The garden is the site of the American flag, centennial flag and a flag that says, “Honor and Remember.” Garden benches were other donations.

Never Forget gardens remember fallen heroes, show reverence to their families and express gratitude to those who have served.

White roses are the official flower of the centennial. The historian of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, contacted the American Rose Society to identify the white roses placed atop the coffin of the remains of the American Unknown Soldier in France in 1921 by Sgt. Edward Younger. Clues suggested a likely candidate in an article by Robert B. Martin Jr., president of the American Rose Society. He concluded that it was a bouquet of pure white tea rose Niphetos from the gardens of Joseph Pernet- Ducher, a famous French nurseryman near Lyons who had lost two sons in the Great War.

The Rose Center will honor the heroic mission of Marine and later fourstar General Graves Blanchard Erskine, born in Columbia, La., and a graduate of LSU, who led bringing the Unknown Soldier to America and his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery after crossing the Atlantic aboard the USS Olympia.

Senator Barrow Peacock (Shreveport- Bossier) co-authored a resolution that recognized Erskine and encouraged Louisiana’s people to commemorate the centennial and promote the attendance of Veterans Day ceremonies, visitation of visitation military cemeteries and memorials and the honoring of the American flag. The resolution calls on Louisianans to dedicate special places in their gardens as “never forget” gardens, which will serve as living tributes to all of America’s veterans and their families.

On Nov. 11, 1921, the Unknown Soldier was transported to Arlington for final burial. He was escorted by President Warren G. Harding and Chief Justice William Taft.

From that day forth, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier became a resting place for all fallen service members “Known But To God.”

The resolution also says that the power of roses effectively represents patriotism and all matters of the heart.

The 100th anniversary will also be commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 21. Erskine is buried in Arlington.

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