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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

See also The Unknown Soldier

In World War I, huge numbers of soldiers died without their remains being identified. The practice developed for nations to have a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that represented those unidentified soldiers.

They usually contain the remains of a dead soldier who is unidentified, and is thought to be impossible to ever indentify. Much work goes into trying to find a certain soldier, and to verify that it is indeed one of your own soldiers. The most famous, and earliest, is that in France under the Arc de Triomphe that was installed after the First World War.

These tombs are also used to commemorate the unidentified fallen of later wars. Although monuments have been built as recently as 1982 in the case of Iraq, it is unlikely that any further ones will be constructed. Advances in DNA technology mean that even the tiniest fragment of bone is usually identifiable.

Examples include:

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