"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others." Ayn Rand

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

As we come up to this 4th of July, as we celebrate our independence and our freedom, everyone should take at least one moment to thank a serviceperson, either in person or through prayer, for the sacrifices that they have made for our country, and for us.

An American Housewife has a piece today about The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...and it makes me want to see it. Thank you Carol...you've taught me today.

I'm totally cutting and pasting...not only because it's late, but because I couldn't improve on this post.

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Received this via email from a friend and thought I'd pass it on. I have had the opportunity, many times, to watch this respectful and dignified ceremony. It is a sight to see.

As we are between Memorial Day and the 4th of July, two of the most patriotic and inspiring holidays our nation observes, I thought it would be a good time to send this on. I have seen this ceremony every time I have been to Washington D.C. and the impressiveness of it never pales. It is an awesome site that everyone should see at least once. You will never forget it if you do.

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you've never had the chance .. Very fascinating.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the
tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the
highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.


2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his
return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1


3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the


4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time
and if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb.
After his march across the path, he executes an about face
and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

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." Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. 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.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat
and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor
watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for
guard duty.


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.


God Bless and keep them.