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Honoring Soldiers

ON GUARD The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at Arlington National Cemetery, is guarded by a serviceman. LUNIVERSA/GETTY IMAGES

Bill Greason is proud to be a veteran of the United States military. He is 97 years old. He fought in World War II. Today, Greason lives in Birmingham, Alabama. “I loved being a Marine,” he told TIME for Kids.

Greason calls it a “tremendous blessing” to have been in the military. He feels grateful to have survived his service. Many people who fought alongside him did not.

LIVING HISTORY Veteran Bill Greason waves to the crowd before a San Francisco Giants game in 2011.


A monument stands at Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. It’s called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It honors those who died during service and who could not be identified or brought home. This year is the tomb’s 100-year anniversary. It’s on Veterans Day, November 11.

A World War I veteran named Hamilton Fish suggested the idea for the tomb in 1920. His idea was approved. An unknown serviceman killed in World War I was selected to be buried there. A funeral for the soldier was held at Arlington on November 11, 1921.

FUNERAL PROCESSION This artifact is from November 11, 1921. It shows the casket of the unknown World War I soldier being carried to Arlington.


In 1958, soldiers from World War II and the Korean War were buried at the tomb. This symbolizes “that no veteran is forgotten,” John Raughter says. He’s with the American Legion. It is a group for veterans.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is not only for honoring those who have died. It’s also for celebrating living veterans.“That’s the key distinction” between the holidays, Raughter says. “Veterans Day honors anyone who has ever served in the U.S. military. Memorial Day honors the fallen."

VETERANS MARCH United States Marines carry American flags at a Veterans Day parade in Media, Pennsylvania, in 2002.


Many cities hold Veterans Day parades. Bridgette Guinn, 8, lives in Killeen, Texas. Her dad is a veteran of the U.S. Army. In 2019, Bridgette marched in a Veterans Day parade with her Girl Scout troop. “There were a ton of people,” she says.

Kids can also celebrate Veterans Day by sending cards and care packages to veterans hospitals. “Those items are always appreciated,” Raughter says. “The best way to honor a living veteran is to thank them for their service.”