Sunday, 11 November 2012

Do You Remember Where Your Freedom Comes From?

November 11th is  "Remembrance Day"

I decided to bump an old post~first, when I saw the above picture, and second, even though I am not American, I get emotional every time I see such unswerving devotion to the fallen. This is a true symbol of respect

*** The above picture is from Arlington Cemetery at the Tomb of the UnknownsThese young men stand guard in all types of weather~including Hurricane Sandy~as they have done, continuously, 24/7 since 1930!

Sadly, each year, fewer people identify with the "Day of Remembrance"; attend the ceremonies to honour the fallen or acknowledge the diminishing group of "old soldiers" who come every year to stand (or sit) and pay tribute. In fact, there is a growing number of lowlifes who deliberately desecrate the memory of those who deserve only the highest respect. I refuse to give print space, but suffice it to say, they flood into "free" countries, then take advantage of Freedom and Democracy to desecrate the memories of the brave while demanding that we submit to their primitive, barbaric ways. We Will NEVER Submit!

My original post was prompted by an email circulating about Jeopardy~a program on American TV~where contestants win money by answering skill questions. One night, the final question was:  "How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns". All three contestants missed it! I admit, I also did not know the answer, so I did some searching and found the following...Do read the questions and answers. Don't Ever Let Anyone Desecrate these Memories!
1] How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?
The Steps 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?
He hesitates for twenty-one seconds for the same reason as answer number one.

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?
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, height must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" and his waist size cannot exceed 30".  

* They must commit two 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 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 life~or give up the wreath pin.  

* The shoes have specially made "thick soles" to keep 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 Lewis {the boxer}, Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy (yes, the Actor) who was the most decorated soldier of WWII.

* Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty. 
In  2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was  approaching Washington, DC, the US Senate/House took two 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 Unknowns 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 service person. In this manner, The  Tomb of the Unknowns has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930! We from democratic countries should be very proud of all the young men and women who serve to preserve our rights and freedoms no matter where they are. If you can't make it to Arlington, then do watch the clip below. It is truly amazing! 

Eternal Rest Grant Them O Lord and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them...Amen 

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