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wreath-laying presentation at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Commemorative wreath-laying presentation held at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

By Sharla Hooper

University of Phoenix honors 100th anniversary of the Tomb

On November 8, University of Phoenix leaders, representing thousands of veteran and military students, held a commemorative wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

The Tomb first provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members on November 11, 1921. A special 100th anniversary commemoration will be held on Veterans’ Day, Thursday, November 11, 2021.

“We are eternally grateful for the individuals that have served our country in the name of protecting our freedoms and the democracies of other nations,” states Peter Cohen, president of University of Phoenix. “On Monday, our University had a high honor of placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. I was humbled to be part of this ceremony, along with the Honor Guard who have continuously guarded the tomb for over 30,000 consecutive days, and to share a special moment as we honored those that served, and were lost, defending those freedoms.”

The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS), is comprised of service members who served as Tomb Guards. Leading up to the national commemoration of the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the SHGTUS has been escorting a “Centennial Flag” to be flown at key locations surrounding the World War I Unknown Soldier selection and journey home from France to the United States in 1921, as part of the historic pilgrimage held throughout October 2021.

Patrick Sutliff, vice president of veterans and military affairs of University of Phoenix, an Army veteran and an associate member of SHGTUS, organized the November 8 commemorative presentation. “As a son of an Army NCO, and also an Army veteran, I remember a high school history lesson regarding the battle of Verdun,” Mr. Sutliff shared. “Forty years later, I’m able to reflect on that lesson and have no words to express my deep emotions of personally being part of a society to honor those men and women who fought and died defending the freedom for the French. Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Mr. Sutliff has been participating in the series of the SHGTUS Centennial Flag Unknown Soldiers pilgrimage events happening during anniversary recognitions, including events in France and this week in Washington, D.C. 

Learn more about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and commemorative events here.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit