Memorial Day Greetings
Republican Women of
Hall County, GA
On Memorial Day weekend let us remember all our fallen heroes.
If you have never witnessed in person the guarding of the Tomb of the Unknowns by the Sentinels, the changing of the guard, etc., you owe it to yourself to make a trip to Arlington Cemetery in D.C. to observe this. It will forever be engrained in your memory.
In Honored Glory
An American Soldier
Known But To God"
The Tomb of the Unknowns, near the center of the cemetery, is one of Arlington's most popular tourist sites.
The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War. Each was presented with the Medal of Honor at the time of interment and the medals, as well as the flags which covered their caskets, are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater, directly to the rear of the Tomb.
The Tomb is guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard).
The Memorial Amphitheater has been the scene of the funerals of some prominent Americans (such as General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing) as well as the site of both Memorial Day and Veterans Days celebrations
The guards make 21-step walks past the Tomb of the Unknowns because 21 is considered a number of special significance, a topic discussed on our page about the origins of the
The guard performs his movements according to the following patten:
- The sentinel marches 21 steps across the black mat, past the final resting places of the Unknown Soldiers of World War I, World War II, Korea, and the crypt of the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War.
- With a crisp turn, the sentinel turns 90 degrees (not about-face) to face east for 21 seconds.
- The sentinel then turns a sharp 90 degrees again to face north for 21 seconds. A crisp "shoulder-arms" movement places the rifle on the shoulder nearest the visitors to signify that the sentinel stands between the tomb and any threat.
After the moment, the sentinel paces 21 steps north, turns and repeats the process.
Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
The guard shifts his rifle prior to each
21-stepwalk to ensure that it is always carried on his outside shoulder, the one away from the Tomb ("to signify that the sentinel stands between the tomb and any threat").
From 1926 through 1937, the Tomb was guarded only during daylight hours. Ever since 1937, the Tomb has been continuously guarded
24 hoursa day, every day of the year. Tomb guards are changed every thirty minutes between 8 AMand 7 PMduring the period from early Spring to early Autumn ( April 1through September 30), and every hour between 8 AMto 5 PMthe rest of the year. At all other times (i.e., while the cemetery is closed), the guard is changed every two hours.
Go here to read more about the Sentinels:
What are the physical traits of the guard?) or off-base in housing of their choosing.
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30."
Like most servicemen, Tomb guards may live either
on-base(at nearby Fort Myer
After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.
ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL
LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
Although serving as President of the United States qualifies one to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, only two former Presidents are interred
there — WilliamHoward Taft and John F.Kennedy
Read more at the following site:
National Cartoonist Remember Memorial Day
God Bless and keep them.
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