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The Tomb of the Unknowns (also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, although it has never been officially named) is a monument dedicated to American servicemen who have died without their remains being identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in the United States. The "Unknown Soldier" of World War I is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the Victoria Cross, and several other foreign nations' highest service awards. The U.S. Unknown Soldiers who were interred afterwards are also recipients of the Medal of Honor, presented by the U.S. presidents who presided over their funerals. It is considered one of the highest honors to serve as a sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Less than 20% of all volunteers are accepted for training and of those only a fraction pass training to become full-fledged Tomb Guards. The sentinels do not wear rank insignia on their uniforms so that they do not outrank the Unknowns, whatever their rank may have been. Cracking and erosion are causing concerns for the long-term preservation of the Tomb Monument. A November 1963 report first recorded horizontal cracking of the monument's marble die block. Though this was the first time that the damage was documented, the report made it clear that the cracks had become visible some time before that date. In 1963-1964, there were two cracks—referred to as "primary" and "secondary"—extending approximately 34 feet around the die block. By 1974, they had extended to 40 feet. They grew another 4.6 feet over the next 15 years. Inspection has determined that the cracks have increased horizontally since 1990. Analysis also indicates that the cracks are not surficial but extend partially through the block and will eventually extend all the way through. In June 2009 Arlington National Cemetery and The Army Corps of Engineers announced that the monument was to be repaired, not replaced. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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