God made man and man made war. When He created this beautiful world, the Lord Almighty might have never intended for his favorite creations to harbor hatred and resentment for one another. However, wars are real. And we know that regardless of which side wins, the loss is borne by both the military men and civilians of both parties. When a soldier dies on the battlefield, he meets his fate to ensure that we are safe and protected from any harm. And, it is our basic duty to be grateful for what they have done for us and show our respect for their sacrifice for their country.
Men Laugh At Soldier Memorial, Watch How Uniformed Guard Sets Them Straight
It is truly an honor to be guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns in the memory of those who have sacrificed their lives so that we could sleep peacefully in our comfortable beds at night. However what happened recently was a clear indicator of how some of us take everything and everyone for granted and have zero gratitude or respect for our soldiers that have died at the warfront.
A guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns was left shell-shocked at the indecency of a man standing among the crowd when the latter started laughing in the middle of it all. The Tomb of the unknowns is typically visited by people who come here to reflect on the lives of the dead in silence. And yet there was this insolent man who burst out laughing without showing the least bit of respect for the monument.
However, being a respectable member of the military services, the soldier was not going to tolerate such contempt and decided to take immediate action to set the man straight. What is most intriguing is that the soldier did not react in exasperation at what had happened! He simply called out to the people just to ask them to show some respect for the martyrs just like he was doing. While some people might have found his tone intimidating and felt that he was shouting at them, the others believed that it was a perfectly normal request. Those among the crowd that were aware of how military people operate and use a loud tone to spell out the orders loud an clear found nothing wrong with the soldier guard’s response.
Regardless of what the tourists visiting the Tomb of the unknowns might have deduced from the soldier’s response of calling out to the ones who were busy conversing and joking around in the middle of the silence, the guard made a decision and made it clear that even the dead commanded basic respect. He didn’t do it to intimidate the onlookers. He merely expected them to show some respect to the monument that they were standing around. He first laid an example for the visitors by remaining silent himself and only then expected the others to follow.
Facts About the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier You Never Knew
The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most popular places in Washington D.C. The Cemetery is so special and the soldiers buried there deserve our utmost respect. Here are a few interesting facts about The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier via Mental Floss:
1. THERE WERE FOUR UNKNOWN SOLDIER CANDIDATES FOR THE WWI CRYPT.
To ensure a truly random selection, four unknown soldiers were exhumed from four different WWI American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat and received the Distinguished Service Medal, was chosen to select a soldier for burial at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington. After the four identical caskets were lined up for his inspection, Younger chose the third casket from the left by placing a spray of white roses on it. The chosen soldier was transported to the U.S. on the USS Olympia, while the other three were reburied at Meuse Argonne American Cemetery in France.
2. SIMILARLY, TWO UNKNOWN SOLDIERS WERE SELECTED AS POTENTIAL REPRESENTATIVES OF WWII.
One had served in the European Theater and the other served in the Pacific Theater. The Navy’s only active-duty Medal of Honor recipient, Hospitalman 1st Class William R. Charette, chose one of the identical caskets to go on to Arlington. The other was given a burial at sea.
3. THERE WERE FOUR POTENTIAL KOREAN WAR REPRESENTATIVES.
The soldiers were disinterred from the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. This time, Army Master Sgt. Ned Lyle was the one to choose the casket. Along with the unknown soldier from WWII, the unknown Korean War soldier lay in the Capitol Rotunda from May 28 to May 30, 1958.
4. THE VIETNAM WAR UNKNOWN WAS SELECTED ON MAY 17, 1984.
Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Allan Jay Kellogg, Jr., selected the Vietnam War representative during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor.
5. BUT THE VIETNAM VETERAN WASN’T UNKNOWN FOR LONG.
Thanks to advances in mitochondrial DNA testing, scientists were eventually able to identify the remains of the Vietnam War soldier. On May 14, 1998, the remains were exhumed and tested, revealing the “unknown” soldier to be Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie (pictured). Blassie was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam, in 1972. After his identification, Blassie’s family had him moved to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Instead of adding another unknown soldier to the Vietnam War crypt, the crypt cover has been replaced with one bearing the inscription, “Honoring and Keeping Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975.”
6. THE MARBLE SCULPTORS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY OTHER U.S. MONUMENTS.
The Tomb was designed by architect Lorimer Rich and sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, but the actual carving was done by the Piccirilli Brothers. Even if you don’t know them, you know their work: The brothers carved the 19-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial, the lions outside of the New York Public Library, the Maine Monument in Central Park, the DuPont Circle Fountain in D.C., and much more.
7. THE TOMB HAS BEEN GUARDED 24/7 SINCE 1937.
Tomb Guards come from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard”. Serving the U.S. since 1784, the Old Guard is the oldest active infantry unit in the military. They keep watch over the memorial every minute of every day, including when the cemetery is closed and in inclement weather.
8. BECOMING A TOMB GUARD IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT.
Members of the Old Guard must apply for the position. If chosen, the applicant goes through an intense training period, in which they must pass tests on weapons, ceremonial steps, cadence, military bearing, uniform preparation, and orders. Although military members are known for their neat uniforms, it’s said that the Tomb Guards have the highest standards of them all. A knowledge test quizzes applicants on their memorization—including punctuation—of 35 pages on the history of the Tomb. Once they’re selected, Guards “walk the mat” in front of the Tomb for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the time of year and time of day. They work in 24-hour shifts, however, and when they aren’t walking the mat, they’re in the living quarters beneath it. This gives the sentinels time to complete training and prepare their uniforms, which can take up to eight hours.
9. THE HONOR IS ALSO INCREDIBLY RARE.
The Tomb Guard badge is the least awarded badge in the Army, and the second least awarded badge in the overall military. (The first is the astronaut badge.) Tomb Guards are held to the highest standards of behavior, and can have their badge taken away for any action on or off duty that could bring disrespect to the Tomb. And that’s for the entire lifetime of the Tomb Guard, even well after his or her guarding duty is over. For the record, it seems that Tomb Guards are rarely female—only three women have held the post.
10. THE STEPS THE GUARDS PERFORM HAVE SPECIFIC MEANING.
Everything the guards do is a series of 21, which alludes to the 21-gun salute. According to TombGuard.org:
The Sentinel does not execute an about face, rather they stop on the 21st step, then turn and face the Tomb for 21 seconds. They then turn to face back down the mat, change the weapon to the outside shoulder, mentally count off 21 seconds, then step off for another 21 step walk down the mat. They face the Tomb at each end of the 21 step walk for 21 seconds. The Sentinel then repeats this over and over until the Guard Change ceremony begins.
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