A replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is coming to the Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site in Laclede Sept. 13-15.
The Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a three-quarters size replica of the original tomb and includes three slabs representing the crypts of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It will be set up on the grounds of the historic site for the public to view free of charge.
Sponsored by Missouri State Parks and the Pershing Park Memorial Association, the opportunity to see the Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be part of the annual Laclede community “Pershing Days” observance. A special program honoring the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be held following the Pershing Days parade at 1 p.m. Sept. 15. The featured speaker will be Thomas H. Conner, Ph.D., author of “The American Battle Monuments Commission and World War Two, 1939-1945.” During the program, the Pershing Rifles will re-enact the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers will be arriving at the historic site on Sept. 13. Representatives from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Patriot Guard Riders, Legion Riders and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association will escort the tomb from the Iowa border to the historic site. The escort will begin at the border around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 13, traveling south on Interstate 35 and then east on Highway 36 to the historic site. Representatives from the organizations will stand guard at the tomb 24 hours a day until its departure on Sept. 16.
Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site, located at 1100 Pershing Drive in Laclede, preserves the boyhood home of the commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. For more information on the Traveling Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, call the historic site at 660-963-2525. For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.