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U.S. Army considers replacing war tomb

Sept. 20, 2007 at 1:23 PM

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army will soon make a decision on whether to replace a 71-year-old, Arlington, Va., monument dedicated to unknown fallen soldiers.

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery has begun to show many non-structural cracks that officials say diminish the aesthetic value of the 48-ton marble monument, The Washington Times reported Thursday.

"We want to have as flawless as possible a monument to our unknown soldiers," said Army spokesman Sheldon Smith. "But no final decisions have been made."

Smith said the Army may replace the tomb because the quarry that supplied the marble offered to donate a new stone to the cemetery and engrave it.

If the tomb is replaced then the existing monument would be donated to the Smithsonian Institution or a military museum, the Times said.

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