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Old 06-13-2008, 21:16   #1
Blitzer
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Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Anyone confirm these factoids?

Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and why? 21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

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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.

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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 a 90 degree turn to the East for 21 seconds, then another 90 degree turn to the North (or South) and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder signifying that the rifle stands between the tomb and any threat.
The practiced cadence is timed so that the sentinel paces at a rate of 90 steps each minute.

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5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes every daylight hour in the summer, one hour during daylight hours in the winter, and all night shifts are one hour walks, 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 must have a proportionate weight and build. 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 <ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> <ns0:placename u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> <st1:place u1:st="on"> <st1:placename u1:st="on">Arlington</st1:placename></st1:place></ns0:placename></ns0:place><ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> <ns0:placename u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> <st1:placename u1:st="on">National</st1:placename></ns0:placename> <ns0:placetype! u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown" u1:endi="" nsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z"> <st1:placetype u1:st="on">Cemetery</st1:placetype></ns0:placetype!></ns0:place>. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe Lewis (the boxer) and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, (the most decorated soldier of WWII) of <ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> </ns0:place> <ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> Hollywood</ns0:place> fame.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.


In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching <ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> <ns0:city u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> Washington</ns0:city></ns0:place><ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown">, <ns0:state u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> </ns0:state> <ns0:state u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> DC</ns0:state></ns0:place>, our <ns0:country-region u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> <ns0:place u1:endinsdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:endinsauthor="Unknown" u1:insdate="2005-02-07T12:00:00Z" u1:insauthor="Unknown"> US S</ns0:place></ns0:country-region>enate and 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 serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

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God Bless and Keep Them
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Old 06-13-2008, 21:20   #2
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Old 06-18-2008, 16:53   #3
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In May of this year I was afforded the opportunity to visit both the tomb and the Police memorial, Never have I witnessed such dignity and respected afforded to anyone.

This is a sight to behold, i would advise anyone willing to listen to visit, and to pay their respect's.
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Old 06-18-2008, 18:42   #4
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Only about half of those "facts" are true. Check out snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/military/unknown.asp
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Old 06-19-2008, 14:16   #5
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Better yet, go here.

http://www.tombguard.org/site.html

Check out the whole site, but your answers are probably in the FAQ.
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Old 06-19-2008, 15:56   #6
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No drinking or cussing for the rest of their lives....and you believed it enough to post it? Puh-leeze.

My Father is a decorated, 2-time tour of Vietnam Vet and also served at The Old Guard and walked the Tomb.

Your lack of concern for detail and fact is quite embarrassing and disrespectful to those that served there.
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Old 06-21-2008, 19:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdvan01 View Post
No drinking or cussing for the rest of their lives....and you believed it enough to post it? Puh-leeze.

My Father is a decorated, 2-time tour of Vietnam Vet and also served at The Old Guard and walked the Tomb.

Your lack of concern for detail and fact is quite embarrassing and disrespectful to those that served there.
Wow, I donít see how his post was disrespectful in anyway. No one was bashing your Dad. Maybe you can share with all of us when and where you served?
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Old 06-21-2008, 19:36   #8
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Old 06-21-2008, 19:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdvan01 View Post
No drinking or cussing for the rest of their lives....and you believed it enough to post it? Puh-leeze.

My Father is a decorated, 2-time tour of Vietnam Vet and also served at The Old Guard and walked the Tomb.

Your lack of concern for detail and fact is quite embarrassing and disrespectful to those that served there.
Did you notice the letters in italics that say, "Anyone confirm these factoids?", clearly written under the title and above the article?
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Old 06-21-2008, 21:57   #10
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A high school buddy of mine guarded the tomb during the Reagan Years.

I can tell you that many of those "facts" are not.
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