Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not my poem, but awesome facts!...


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 rifle.

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..

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 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 Lewis {the boxer}
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
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 service person. The tomb has been patrolled
continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and keep them.


Jeanne Klaver said...

Oh wow! This is so humbling. Thank you very, very much.

Vivian said...

You're welcome, Jeanne! And thank YOU for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Owen said...

That's an amazing story, I'd never heard of all those details... wow, that is devotion to a cause...

But no alcohol for the rest of one's life? Not sure I could handle that... although I drink very little, I do enjoy a good beer on a hot summer day once in a while, and I do like a glass of excellent wine with an excellent dinner. Anyway, my waist is 32 inches, so I guess I couldn't cut it anyway !

But an incredible story even so...

Vivian said...

Owen, I know, those guys are so dedicated! I tip my hat to them! ( not that I wear a hat, mind you )
And yes, I too, love a fine glass of red wine with my macaroni!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.....you made my day!

ps...32 inch waist is not too shabby...and there's always a way to cut it...just cut out white flour and sugar ( not beer or wine! ) heehee