Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Interesting Facts About The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
USA

1. A guard takes 21 steps during his walk across the the tomb. Why? It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. A guard hesitates for 21 seconds after his about face to begin his return walk for the same reason as stated above.

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

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

6. For a person to apply f or guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30".

7. 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.

8. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in anyway.

9. 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.

10. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

11. 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.

12. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

13. 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.

...and I couldn't resist posting this: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 assi gnment. 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.

I am proud to be an American where there are soldiers who are so dedicated to this important monument!

***An anonymous commenter left a link to snopes saying this was all untrue. I will leave this link for you to check it out yourself.***

26 comments, add yours here:

Lori said...

What an awesome tribute to our soldiers. Ive been there and its beautiful. Great post. My son is a soldier and will be going to iraq in October, so this one hits close to home. Happy TT my friend.

Picturing of Life said...

wow...interest post this week. thanks for sharing in here.

Visit me in here

forgetfulone said...

I am so proud to be an American, too. That was extremely interesting.

Jen said...

Thank you for posting this. I didn't realize guarding the tomb was so prestigious. It's great to see that our country and the soldiers who guard this monument are so dedicated. It heightens my honor and respect for it. I've gotta share this with my kids. Thank you,
Jen @
http://happyfibrofamily.today.com

Em Dy said...

I didn't realize that their job is very difficult. Not speaking for a day is hard enough but six months?

Desert Songbird said...

Great post, T. What a incredible responsibility these soldiers undertake.

Craft Junkie said...

That is beyond awesome. Thank you for posting this!

Carol said...

Absolutely amazing! I was choked up by the time I reached #9. What a great list! Thank you.

Lisa said...

That is the best post I have read this week, so much information I never, ever knew! Thanks.

Happy TT!

Twisted Cinderella said...

Great post. It is nice that such pride is taken in this important job.

courtneyryan369 said...

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing this. All the times I've been there, I never knew that.

Sarge Charlie said...

Excellent post, so many people know nothing about our heroes, everyone should find a way to get to DC and watch the changing of the guard, it is such a wonderful thing.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i did know all this i am proud to say. sarge plans on being buried in arlington cemetery...(but not just yet!)

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxooxoxox

amy said...

This was beautiful!!!

Mines up as well!
Hubbys having a give away at his blog at www.valtool.blogspot.com

Hope you will visit us both!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Excellent Tisha. I wore a uniform for years. I did lots of cool stuff, but I would have loved to do this. I would have been out there in the storm too. Just saying. Have a great day sweetie. Big hug. :)

Angie said...

What a great idea for TT13. Thanks for the info, I guess I was pretty clueless about how much care was taken there.
Enjoy your day!

Mo said...

That is one of the coolest posts I've ever read for a Thursday 13.
For their whole lives!
Wow - that's commitment!

tabbikat said...

Thanks for the very educational 13! I knew some of the things you had listed but not all of them. What amazing people to commit their entire lives to this.

Denise Patrick said...

Guarding the Tomb is an honor words cannot express and the rest of us ought to be proud of those who do. Thank you for the great information - I knew some, but not all. That's awesome about the response in 2003!

Happy TT!

Los Angeles Traveler said...

Wow-That is very good info. Thanks. Happy T13!

Cameo said...

Beautiful story!! Thanks for posting! I am a veteran myself and this was very moving.

bernieg1 said...

Interesting 13. Mine is Eat, Drink and be Merry - 13 Last Words, Excerpt: Judaism instructs us to enjoy the simple gifts that God gives in the present world. Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy this life, on this Earth, in this time. I have collected for your enjoyment the last words of some of our more famous fellow human beings involving food or drink before they died.

Toni said...

Great post! Great tribute and lesson!

Anonymous said...

Not all of this is true...

http://www.snopes.com/military/unknown.asp

Travis said...

While some of the items on the list may not specifically be true, I think it is mostly important to understand that the honor guard represents our duty to never forget that some gave all in service to our country, and that although they may not be known to us...they will never be forgotten.

Tina said...

people make me laugh when they leave anon comments! Your only trying to make a post for heavens sake!

Anyway i thought it was interesting. Seems alot of requirments to do to guard the tomb! I know i couldnt stop swearing or tv for 6 months ha!