The only monument dedicated to honor the memories of unknown Revolutionary War soldiers was originally used as a Potter's ... More
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The only monument dedicated to honor the memories of unknown Revolutionary War soldiers was originally used as a Potter's Field, where the poor and indigent were buried. Although Philadelphia is not known as a battleground, this section of Washington Square became the final resting place of thousands of soldiers as the barracks near the Square received the sick, wounded and dying of the war. By 1825 the site was no longer used as a cemetery and in 1954 a memorial honoring George Washington and an Unknown Soldier was erected.
It was a cold wet November day in 2007. We took a tour on the Tourmobile of Arlington and Washington DC. How interesting and knowledgeable those guides were. We watching the changing of the guard and it was like a dance. Everything was done with perfection from the uniform, thier guns, thier shoes, to the 15 (I think) steps they took back and forth as they guarded the tomb. How respectful and graceful it was. Then we saw the laying of the wreath at the tomb. Again it was a sight to see. For alot of American's it is a once in a lifetime thing and I highly recommend it. If you can catch it twice you are doing good. It happens every hour 24/7/365. And what a view of DC.
It's not a lot to see but it does have it's value in other ways. I am glad I got to see it at least once, but if I go back, it won't be on my "must see" list again. But if you've never been, then yes, you should check it out at least once.
In over 30+ years I've visited Washington Square and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution many times. I've lead groups of Boy Scouts here, and I've written and spoken about it many times. The grounds beneath Washington Square are the resting place of thousands of Continental Soldiers who died while in the custody of the British Army that occupied Philadelphia during the Fall and Winter of 1777. The soldiers were buried in mass graves along what is now the 6th Street and Walnut Street sides of the Square. Also buried in the Square are hundreds of people who died from a yellow fever epidemic that struck the City.
A simple inscription on the Tomb reads, "Beneath this stone rests a solder of Washington's army who died to give you liberty." That pretty much sums up what Washington Square and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution is all about. It is well worth visiting and remembering those who went before us who fought and died for our freedom.
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