SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been on display in Arlington, Virginia for a full century.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery has been the final resting place for America’s unidentified service members since 1921.
A smaller version of the memorial is making its way to the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance.
“This is a half-scale replica that’s touring the country and it’ll be here in Sioux Falls for two days this weekend,” South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance Executive Director Brian Phelps said.
The display is free and open to the public and expected to draw big numbers.
“One of the projections that we received from the people that do this tour is we could expect 10-to-15,000 people coming through the Alliance this weekend to see the replica,” Phelps said.
In addition to seeing the half-scale replica of the tomb, visitors can ask questions of the guards who protect the actual tomb in Arlington, Virginia.
“That is one of the highlights of our trip for the veterans to see the changing of the guards and the unknown soldier,” Midwest Honor Flight’s Chris Van Beek said.
The Alliance is also hosting a fundraiser for Midwest Honor Flight on Saturday. The organization allows local veterans to visit their respective monuments in Washington D.C. and relies solely on fundraising events.
“We simply cannot do it without the community’s help and so this partnership this weekend will definitely help our future flights, our future plans to serve our over 800 veterans that are on the waitlist,” Van Beek said.
Shortening the list starts with Mission 7 on September 18th.
“It’s exciting. It’s going to be 22 months since our last flight and we feel it’s time to get back up there and get our veterans that honor and respect and closure they so desperately deserve and we’re ready,” Van Beek said.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier replica will be on display Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tickets to the Midwest Honor Flight dinner cost $30. Click HERE for complete details.