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ARLINGTON CEMETERY - "The Tomb of the Unknowns"

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  1. Mopar Nut

    Mopar Nut Well-Known Member

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    ARLINGTON CEMETERY

    Jeopardy Question:


    On "Jeopardy" the other night, the final question was
    "How many steps does the guard take during his
    walk across the tomb of the Unknowns?"

    All three contestants missed it!

    It's a shame as is really an awesome sight to watch if you ever go to Arlington.

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

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

    Here are other fascinating facts.

    Q. How long does the guard hesitate after his turn to begin his return walk and why?

    A. 21 seconds for the same reason as the previous answer.


    Q. Why are the guard's gloves wet?

    A. His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.


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

    A. 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.


    Q. How often are the guards changed?

    A. Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours
    a day, 365 days a year.


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

    A. To apply for guard duty at the tomb, the soldier must be
    between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

    Q. How long do they serve?

    A. Typically they serve 18 months.

    The Tomb Guard Identification Badge, first awarded in 1957, is a honor for which
    a guard qualifies by “flawlessly performing his duty for several months” and passing
    a test. The 500th Tomb Guard Identification Badge was awarded in early 2002, and the
    total number of recipients is now about 525. The award is, as its name states, a badge
    worn on the pocket of a uniform jacket

    The shoes are standard issue military dress shoes. They are built up so the sole and heel
    are equal in height. This allows the Sentinel to stand so that his back is straight and
    perpendicular to the ground. A side effect of this is that the Sentinel can “roll” on the
    outside of the build up as he walks down the mat. This allows him to move in a fluid
    fashion. If he does this correctly, his hat and bayonet will appear to not “bob” up and down
    with each step. It gives him a more formal and smooth look to his walk, rather than a “marching” appearance.

    The soles have a steel tip on the toe and a “horseshoe” steel plate on the heel. This prevents
    wear on the sole and allows the Sentinel to move smoothly during his movements when he turns to face the Tomb and then back down the mat.

    There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty
    in front of a full-length mirror.

    During the first six months of duty a guard must memorize all the notables
    who are buried at Arlingtont and where they are interred. Among the
    notables are:

    President Taft, Joe Louis (Best Heavyweight Boxer of all time}
    Medal of Honor Recipient Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII
    and 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 in 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 their 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 these men.
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    rbbruno3 and DetMatt1 like this.
  2. IRON MAN

    IRON MAN Well-Known Member

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    My five brothers, two sisters, and I were at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) nine months ago for my mother's internment. My father was interned six years ago at ANC. My family always make a point to see the Tomb of the Unknowns. My father and I both served in Vietnam in 1970. My oldest brother was at an airbase the B52's flew out of in Thailand. My twin brother was stationed in Germany. There you have it...four members of the same immediate family serving at the same time in the US Army. I should mentioned my mother served in the British Royal Air Force during WWII, that's how she met my Dad.
     
  3. Mopar Nut

    Mopar Nut Well-Known Member

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    American Cemetery at Normandy.

    American Cemetery at Normandy.jpg
     
  4. seneca

    seneca Well-Known Member

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    That is quite a story and quite a family you have there Iron Man! God bless you and your family for their service to America and Great Britain. You are all great patriots. Oh, and Welcome Home, Brother!
     
  5. DetMatt1

    DetMatt1 Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks Iron Man!
     
  6. paharamia

    paharamia Well-Known Member

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    Wow Iron Man, thank you for you, and your family's service!
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