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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?



    Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God.



    So reads the inscription etched into the white granite tomb that marks the resting place of America's official unknown soldiers. The Tomb of the Unknowns remains one of the United States' most revered sites, a permanent reminder of this country's commitment to honor those who died fighting for its freedom. In 2003 Hurricane Isabel crashed into the Washington, DC area.


    When practically every government employee in Washington was beating a hasty retreat to avoid the aftereffects of Hurricane Isabel, a small group of men decided their commitment to duty, honor and country was more important than personal safety or comfort.


    Tomb Guard Sentinels, the elite soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry regiment chosen to act as guards at the Tomb, opted to sustain their constant vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns rather than flee the oncoming bad weather. To them it was a matter of honoring their personal and professional obligations to the men and women who served before them and who serve now - and obviously do not have the luxury of serving their country only when skies are blue and the sun shines down upon them.


    Although the Tomb of the Unknowns is watched over by Tomb Guards 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of weather conditions, to have soldiers so duty-bound as to ignore their own personal well-being is an example of real patriotism and a real reminder of the sacrifices made to secure the principles of liberty.



    Military cemeteries are places of especial reverence because each grave therein is not only the final resting place of an individual but also stands as a monument to valor and the enduring truths for which that soldier gave his life.



    Tombs dedicated to unknown soldiers, those fallen comrades whose identities have been lost to all but God, stand as poignant reminders of the gravity of duty to one's country and of the awful price freedom may demand of those who serve in the military. Although every soldier's grave Salute should be such a reminder, it is easy to pass by those of known individuals and not be struck by the day-to-day act of courage that it is to be a soldier. Yet before the tomb of an unknown serviceman, that realization strikes home. The man interred therein represents all soldiers; his courage, valor, and sacrifice represent the promise of all who serve that when called upon they will do no less. Before the tomb of an unknown, we honor the dead and are awed by the living.



    When Hurricane Isabel hit on 19 September 2003, she struck with fury and left in her wake a trail of devastation. Yet not even a hurricane is stronger than a soldier's sense of duty.



    A contingency plan had been established that if winds reached 120 mph the guards could retreat from their usual exposed-to-the-elements posts in the tomb plaza to take up positions in trophy room, which is above the tomb plaza and has a clear view of the sepulcher. (The Tomb of the Unknowns is a small box-like white building situated in an open area close to the middle of the cemetery.) This plan was not put into effect.



    The Tomb of the Unknowns holds three sets of remains, one each from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. A fourth set of remains from the Vietnam War used to be part of this august company but was formally disinterred in 1998 after DNA testing determined them to belong to First Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie. Lt. Blassie is now buried in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day and 365 days a year by specially chosen soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) stationed at nearby Fort Myer.
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  2. #2
    so-cal vike's Avatar
    so-cal vike is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    One word
    .
    .
    .
    Respect.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    Its because the soldiers that guard and protect this country and our freedoms do it 24 hrs a day, 365 days of the year. Its the least we can do to honor those that have sacrificed the most for us.
    In a symbolic way the unknown soldier represents all soldiers that have died in battle, in the service of our country.

    WWBGD

  4. #4
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    It's a symbolic confidence not only for the soldiers, but also for the public as a whole.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  5. #5
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    It's a symbolic confidence not only for the soldiers, but also for the public as a whole.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    They watched over us, we need to watch over them.

  7. #7
    Garland Greene's Avatar
    Garland Greene is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    I remebered reading about how much of an honor it is to be chosen to be a soldier to guard the tomb

  8. #8
    PAViking's Avatar
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    I served in the old guard.
    Not for the tomb of the unknowns but for the Cassion platoon.
    Now it's been close to 7 years since my time in the army but as I remember there wasn't always a guard there.
    I visited it a few times during the changing of the guard.
    Being stationed on the same post I talked to a few of them from time to time.
    Anyway, before it was guarded somebody put grafetti( spelled wrong I think) on it.
    And since then they posted a guard and it evolved into what it is today.
    Thats what I was told anyway.

  9. #9
    sleepagent is offline Hall of Famer
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    Regardless of the reason(s) . . . it's worth the stop if you're ever in the DC area.

    Arlington National Cemetery is home to a lot of famous (and not-so-famous) people.
    Unfortunately I personally know 2 people buried there.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Why Is The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guraded 24 hours?

    "PAViking" wrote:
    I served in the old guard.
    Not for the tomb of the unknowns but for the Cassion platoon.
    Now it's been close to 7 years since my time in the army but as I remember there wasn't always a guard there.
    I visited it a few times during the changing of the guard.
    Being stationed on the same post I talked to a few of them from time to time.
    Anyway, before it was guarded somebody put grafetti( spelled wrong I think) on it.
    And since then they posted a guard and it evolved into what it is today.
    Thats what I was told anyway.
    I imagine that's pretty good duty! I wouldn't know.

    What I do know as a former SF medic and 'nam vet. I really appreciate it.

    People I served with paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

    They were the real heros in life.God bless their families on this memorial day.

    And thank you to all who have served , to give me and my family the freedom we enjoy today.
    What takes a quarterback to the next level is not arm strength or mobility or any of that stuff. Its the ability to play on critical downs. Manage third downs, or red zones or four-minute or two-minute situations"
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