HOME

On this memorial day we say thanks to those who have served in the military and who currently serve our nation, and we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We thank their families, too, and hope that God grants them many blessings in their lives ahead.  

ARLINGTON CEMETERY

 Jeopardy  Question: 

 On  Jeopardy a while back, 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!

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you’ve never had the chance .  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 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 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..  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 service person. The tomb has been patrolled  continuously,  24/7, since 1930.

God  Bless and keep them.