Greatest Briton: the Unknown Soldier
The Unknown Soldier refers to a grave in which the remains of a soldier are interred. Such tombs can be found in many nations and are usually high-profile national monuments. Through the whole history, many soldiers have died in wars without their remains being identified. Following the First World War, a movement arose to commemorate these soldiers with a single tomb, containing the body of one such unidentified soldier. The body might serve as a symbol for all of the unknown dead wherever they fell.
The idea of a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier spread rapidly to other countries. In 1921, the following year, such tombs were unveiled in the United States, Portugal and Italy. Since then, many other nations have followed the practice and installed their own tombs.
The United Kingdom and France unveiled their monuments on Armistice Day, 1920. In Britain, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was created at Westminster Abbey, while in France La tombe du soldat inconnu was placed in the Arc de Triomphe.
In the United States, further tombs have subsequently been created in order to represent different wars seen as key in its history. In Ukraine, a second tomb was unveiled to commemorate The Unknown Sailor. The United States Army has 9 unknown Medal of Honor recipients.
The anonymity of the entombed soldier is key to the symbolism of the monument: since his or her identity is unknown, it could theoretically be the tomb of anyone who fell in service of the nation in question, and therefore serves as a monument to all of their sacrifices. Much work goes into trying to find a certain soldier, and to verify that it is indeed one of the relevant nation's soldiers.