September 29, 2016

Honoring the Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington, VA


Over the years, we've seen a number of the memorials and
 historical monuments throughout the Washington, DC area. 
Each one evokes feelings of pride and patriotism, but by far 
the most solemn is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Located at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery,
the tomb is the final resting place for Unknowns from
World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Since 1937, the Tomb is guarded by an Honor Guard
24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Sentinal takes 21 steps as he walks in each direction while guarding the Tomb.
This relates to the highest honor given in the military, the twenty-one gun salute.

The Sentinal stops on his 21st step, turns with a heel click and faces the Tomb 
for 21 seconds, then turns and "walks the mat" 21 steps in the other direction.
He always carries his weapon on his outside shoulder, 
placing himself between the Tomb and any potential danger. 

The Changing of the Guard is a reverent, formal ceremony.
It's well worth watching; we stayed to see it twice.
The precision and devotion with which the Honor Guard
carries out this respected tradition is mesmerizing.

The weapon of the new Sentinal is thoroughly inspected.

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