Cracks May Force Replacement of Tomb

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Most visitors are probably too busy watching the polished guards make their endless march in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns to see the cracks working their way across the monument. But each year those cracks creep farther and deeper.

The tomb, a must-see stop for the four million annual visitors to Arlington National Cemetery, is not in danger of crumbling anytime soon. But the cemetery is deciding whether to patch the fissures or replace the marble altogether.

“We know this is not a stagnant thing,” said John C. Metzler Jr., the cemetery’s superintendent. “This thing is continuing to move.” Mr. Metzler said he feared that some of the carved sculptures could eventually fall off.

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