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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER FACTS
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Dave Smith    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:10:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Subject: TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER FACTS
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I wish that I could say that I knew more than a couple of these
> > facts.
> > The following is well worth the time it takes to read it.
> >
> >
> >
> > TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER FACTS
> >
> >
> > Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and
> > the
> > Sentinels of the Third United States Infantry Regiment "Old
> > Guard"
> >
> > 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?
> >
> > No, 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.
> >
> > The Sentinels Creed:
> > My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted.
> > In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter. And with dignity
> > and perseverance my standard will remain perfection. Through the years of
> > diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my
>tour
> > in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the
> > respect I protect. His bravery that made us so proud. Surrounded by well
> > meaning crowds by day alone in the thoughtful peace of night, this soldier
> > will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.
> >
> > More Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknowns
> > itself:
> >
> > The marble for the Tomb of the Unknowns was furnished by the
> > Vermont Marble Company of Danby, Vt. The marble is the finest and whitest
>of
> > American marble, quarried from the Yule Marble Quarry located near Marble,
> > Colorado and is called Yule Marble. The Marble for the Lincoln memorial
>and
> > other famous buildings was also quarried there.
> >
> > The Tomb consists of seven pieces of rectangular marble:
> > Four pieces in sub base; weight - 15 tons;
> > One piece in base or plinth; weight - 16 tons;
> > One piece in die; weight - 36 tons;
> > One piece in cap; weight - 12 tons;
> > Carved on the East side (the front of the Tomb, which faces
> > Washington, D.C.) is a composite of three figures, commemorative of the
> > spirit of the Allies of World War I.
> >
> > In the center of the panel stands Victory (female).
> >
> > On the right side, a male figure symbolizes Valor.
> >
> > On the left side stands Peace, with her palm branch to
> > reward the devotion and sacrifice that went with courage to make the cause
> > of righteousness triumphant.
> >
> > The north and south sides are divided into three panels by
> > Doric pilasters. In each panel is an inverted wreath.
> >
> > On the west, or rear, panel (facing the Amphitheater) is
> > inscribed:
> >
> > HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO
> > GOD
> >
> > The first Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a sub base and a
> > base or plinth. It was slightly smaller than the present base. This was
>torn
> > away when the present Tomb was started Aug. 27, 1931. The Tomb was
>completed
> > and the area opened to the public 9:15 a.m. April 9, 1932, without any
> > ceremony.
> >
> > Cost of the Tomb: $48,000
> > Sculptor: Thomas Hudson Jones
> > Architect: Lorimer Rich
> > Contractors: Hagerman & Harris, New York City
> > Inscription: Author Unknown
> >
> > (Interesting Commentary)
> >
> > The Third Infantry Regiment at Fort Myer has the
> > responsibility for providing ceremonial units and honor guards for state
> > occasions, White House social functions, public celebrations and
>interments
> > at Arlington National Cemetery and standing a very formal sentry watch at
> > the Tomb of the Unknowns.
> >
> > The public is familiar with the precision of what is called
> > "walking post" at the Tomb. There are roped off galleries where visitors
>can
> > form to observe the troopers and their measured step and almost
> > mechanically, silent rifle shoulder changes. They are relieved every hour
>in
> > a very formal drill that has to be seen to be believed.
> >
> > Some people think that when the Cemetery is closed to the
> > public in the evening that this show stops. First, to the men who are
> > dedicated to this work, it is no show. It is a "charge of honor." The
> > formality and precision continues uninterrupted all night. During the
> > nighttime, the drill of relief and the measured step of the on-duty sentry
> > remain unchanged from the daylight hours. To these men, these special men,
> > the continuity of this post is the key to the honor and respect shown to
> > these honored dead, symbolic of all unaccounted for American combat dead.
> > The steady rhythmic step in rain, sleet, snow, hail, heat and cold must be
> > uninterrupted. Uninterrupted is the important part of the honor shown.
> >
> > Recently, while you were sleeping, the teeth of hurricane
> > Isabel came through this area and tore hell out of everything. We had
> > thousands of trees down, power outages, traffic signals out, roads filled
> > with downed limbs and "gear adrift" debris. We had flooding and the place
> > looked like it had been the impact area of an off-shore bombardment.
> >
> > The Regimental Commander of the U.S. Third Infantry sent
> > word to the nighttime Sentry Detail to secure the post and seek shelter
>from
> > the high winds, to ensure their personal safety.
> >
> > THEY DISOBEYED THE ORDER!
> >
> > During winds that turned over vehicles and turned debris
> > into projectiles, the measured step continued. One fellow said "I've got
> > buddies getting shot at in Iraq who would kick my butt if word got to them
> > that we let them down. I have no intention of spending my Army career
>being
> > known as the idiot who couldn't stand a little light breeze and shirked
>his
> > duty." Then he said something in response to a female reporters question
> > regarding silly purposeless personal risk... "I wouldn't expect you to
> > understand. It's an enlisted man's thing." God bless the rascal... In a
>time
> > in our nation's history when spin and total b.s. seem to have become the
> > accepted coin-of-the-realm, there beat hearts - the enlisted hearts we all
> > knew and were so damn proud to be a part of - that fully understand that
> > devotion to duty is not a part-time occupation. While we slept, we were
> > represented by some damn fine men who fully understood their post orders
>and
> > proudly went about their assigned responsibilities unseen, unrecognized
>and
> > in the finest tradition of the American Enlisted Man. Folks, there's hope.
> > The spirit that George S. Patton, Arliegh Burke and Jimmy Doolittle left
>us
> > .... survives.
> >
> > On the ABC evening news, it was reported recently that,
> > because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabel approaching Washington, DC,
>the
> > military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown
> > Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They refused. "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.
> >
> > Very, very proud of our soldiers in uniform!
> >


bill b va    Posted 05-26-2004 at 01:38:31       [Reply]  [No Email]

ah ha......something for me to check on . it is my understanding my dad did this duty before i was born (nov 1931) . just looked at his discharge papers . he was discharged 15 dec 1929 at camp humphreys , va . i remember as a kid him talking about doing the tours there .


Salmoneye    Posted 05-25-2004 at 12:38:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Amen,


ret    Posted 05-25-2004 at 11:09:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am very sure the last time I was there, the female soldier guarding the tomb was not 5'10''
Maybe that has been changed also
REt


screaminghollow    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:54:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
lived for twenty years within five miles of the tomb. Biggest let down, was when I found out that folks know the identity of one of the 'unknown" soldiers. Also, many folks thought the Iwo Jimo memorial was for World WarII, me included. Now they built and opened a big WWII memorial. Know what, the Iwo Jima statues will always mean far more of a WWII memorial than the "thing" they just opened.

Lastly, the tomb of the unknown soldier is on land which once belonged to General Robert E. Lee. Even stranger, Lee was asked by Lincoln to lead the Union troops against the southern insurrection.


Gary in Geneva    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:53:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Very nice - but it contains some errors. Here is a link to the straight poop.


Chas in Me    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:47:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Dave,

That was real interesting and heartwarming.
Thank you.

Charles


Aprille    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:26:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thank you SO much for sharing this with us.


Dave Smith    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:29:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Makes you feel proud don't it.
Dave <*)))><


geo. h    Posted 05-25-2004 at 10:28:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
May god bless and keep them geo.h


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