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Did You Know? #4 - A reminder Options
hedy mmm
Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 4:00:53 PM

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For all of us Learners & Educators:
Did You Know? #4 - A Reminder
My husband & I never missed an episode of "Jeopardy", from its inception, however, since his transition in Fall 2013, I have not watched it. I do remember a final question, in an episode about 6 yrs. ago, no one could answer. I got it right...I didn't know the answer to questions 3-6...the strict discipline of the soldiers who guard the tomb....Awesome!

I believe I previously posted this thread, however, it bears repeating on this Memorial Day...This is really an awesome sight to watch if you've never had the chance. Fascinating.

On Jeopardy, the final question was "How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington Cemetery?" All three contestants missed it!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?
21 steps: It 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?
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.

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, he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.
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 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 sworn.
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 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, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame, and more.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

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 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. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

There are 19 countries in the world who observe this international recognition, "21 Gun Salute", each a different date, different cause...from Bangladesh to can find it in Wikipedia under '21 Guns' or '21 Gun Salute.'

We can proudly still say, "America: Home of the Free, BECAUSE of the Brave."


"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 3:42:39 PM

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A great post, hedy. I am proud to have been a member of such a group of men and women as our military personnel who demonstrate this level of respect and dedication.

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
hedy mmm
Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 9:58:20 PM

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Thank you FounDit for your awesome response....

I come from a family that has served our dad in WWII, my husband, Air Force,
my bro-in-law, Army who did 3 tours in Vietnam, and so many more family members & friends.
Because "Freedom isn't Free" ~ Ronald Reagan

We are "Home Of The Free Because Of The Brave", like you...

I Salute You!

"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 8:28:15 AM

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A few mistakes here, Hedy - though they don't detract from the Unknown Soldier (or the hundreds of thousands who are represented by the Tomb).

Soldiers, sailors and airmen who protect the rights of their compatriots deserve honour (no matter which country they have kept free).

On Arlington -
Most of the year in the daytime, and all year at night, the guard is changed once an hour, not half-hourly.

They do not perform an 'about-face' at the end of a walk - it's a left-face, pause 21 seconds, left face, pause 21 seconds.

There are no rules about speaking to anyone (except when on sentry duty, of course), watching TV, etc. in the first six months (or any time) - though the new guards are quite busy, and may not have a lot of time for chat or TV. They do have a lot of facts to learn, and they're tested on them stringently.

They can choose to live in barracks at Fort Meyer (there is no 'barracks under the tomb') or in normal housing, off-base.
Their normal tour-of-duty averages just over one year (on duty three days out of nine) - the rotation is day 1 on duty, day 2 off duty, day 3 on, day four off, day 5 on duty, days 6 - 9 off duty.

There is no law about drinking alcohol or swearing after the tour of duty, though the badge can be revoked for "bringing dishonour on the Tomb".
It is not a pin worn on the lapel, it is a badge worn on the uniform breast. It is not only presented after two years (most guards do not serve two years).

The 'height-limits' you quote are a mixture of the men's rules and the women's rules - not correct for either. There is no fixed waist-size at all.

The shoes are standard issue military dress shoes. They are built up so the sole and heel are equal in height. This allows the Sentinel to stand so that the back is straight and perpendicular to the ground - this does also have the effect of insulating the feet from the ground, but that is not the purpose of the specially-built-up sole.
The 'segs' (metal tips on sole and heel) are not there "in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt" - they are there to prevent wear and allow smooth movement during the turns.

It's true that a guard is only "on sentry duty" for two or three hours during an eight-hour day. So they spend five hours a day 'preparing' for the time actually on sentry-duty. The uniforms are expected to be perfect.

Arlington National Cemetery website

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 11:41:20 AM

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I fail to understand why its called Tomb of Unknown Soldier?

The identity of fighters remains embedded in the history of defense records of a country for uncountable years. No soldier is unknown. The word 'unknown' is like insulting the braves. They were not sheep. They fought for motherland or for the masters or for living. I object to it.Shame on you Shame on you Shame on you

Why Not Tomb of the 'Lost'or 'Vanished' Braves. or

Tomb of the Soldiers with the Lord.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Posted: Friday, June 1, 2018 6:20:43 PM

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Most nations try to identify the bodies of soldiers who have died in a war. Often times it isn't possible, so there may be many bodies whose identity cannot be certain.

We may know the names of those who didn't return, but how to identify only pieces, or in some cases, no remains at all? Prior to DNA testing, we couldn't be sure who a body might be, and even today, without a sample to judge by, it isn't possible.

The tomb is not just to honor an unknown soldier, but to honor all the soldiers who died in a war. I understand there are tombs like this in many countries. It is a sign or respect, not an insult. It's like saying, "We may not know your name, but we honor you in death for your sacrifice".

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2018 11:39:16 AM

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Hi, FounDit, they were not unknown , they were on rolls of some country, some region.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2018 12:00:39 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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In Britain, this idea was first put forward after WWI. With the fighting in the trenches, there were many bodies unidentified and many simply lost - bodies are still being found now in fields in France and Belgium.

Around 10 million soldiers died in WW1, on all sides.
You can imagine how many of them were lost and their bodies never identified or simply never recovered.

Every family in Britain had been affected.

The tomb stands as a marker for every soldier who was unidentified, and every soldier never found.
For those families without a grave, it is a symbol - the soldier buried there could be anyone - it could be one of the family members you lost who is being honoured. Also, those who died were buried in mass graves at the time, and later reburied separately at cemeteries but these are in France or Belgium - ordinary people couldn't visit them easily. In that way it represents everyone.

The wording has become accepted in English as the tomb of the unknown soldier or warrior.
It is certainly not seen as disrespectful. The tomb in Britain says "Unknown and yet well known".

In Britain, six unidentified bodies from six different battlefields were taken to a chapel in Arras, in France. One casket was chosen by a general with his eyes closed, and the rest were reburied. They deliberately did everything they could to make this one individual represent every single unknown soldier.

They were then given a state funeral and buried buried in Westminster Abbey, alongside great poets, scientists, saints, and kings dating back nine hundred years.
For a nation which had lost so many men and had so many never found or never identified, it was a very powerful statement of respect.

On the morning of 11 November 1920, the casket was placed onto a gun carriage of the Royal Horse Artillery and drawn by six horses through immense and silent crowds. As the cortege set off, a further Field Marshal's salute was fired in Hyde Park.[5] The route followed was Hyde Park Corner, The Mall, and to Whitehall where the Cenotaph, a "symbolic empty tomb",[6] was unveiled by King-Emperor George V. The cortège was then followed by The King, the Royal Family and ministers of state to Westminster Abbey, where the casket was borne into the West Nave of the Abbey flanked by a guard of honour of one hundred recipients of the Victoria Cross.

The guests of honour were a group of about one hundred women.[1] They had been chosen because they had each lost their husband and all their sons in the war.[1] "Every woman so bereft who applied for a place got it".[1]

The coffin was then interred in the far western end of the Nave, only a few feet from the entrance, in soil brought from each of the main battlefields, and covered with a silk pall. Servicemen from the armed forces stood guard as tens of thousands of mourners filed silently past. The ceremony appears to have served as a form of catharsis for collective mourning on a scale not previously known.[1]

The grave was then capped with a black Belgian marble stone (the only tombstone in the Abbey on which it is forbidden to walk) featuring this inscription, composed by Herbert Edward Ryle, Dean of Westminster, engraved with brass from melted down wartime ammunition:

Beneath this stone rests the body
Of a British warrior
Unknown by name or rank
Brought from France to lie among
The most illustrious of the land
And buried here on Armistice Day
11 Nov: 1920, in the presence of
His Majesty King George V
His Ministers of State
The Chiefs of his forces
And a vast concourse of the nation

Thus are commemorated the many
Multitudes who during the Great
War of 1914 – 1918 gave the most that
Man can give life itself
For God
For King and country
For loved ones home and empire
For the sacred cause of justice and
The freedom of the world

They buried him among the kings because he
Had done good toward God and toward
His house

A French soldier was buried at the same time in Paris.

Each country which has such a tomb treats it in a different way depending on their traditions and experiences. Some are more militaristic, some more monumental, some more solemn. But the meaning is pretty much universal.

It is a separate concept from 'unknown remains'. In those cases, every effort is made to identify them, however long after they were buried.

The body of a British sailor, who died alongside roughly 10,000 others in the Battle of Jutland during the First World War, has finally been identified after 100 years.

The man was buried on the coast of Esbjerg in western Jutland under a tombstone with the inscription ‘A British Seaman of the Great War’ after the body was recovered in September 1916.

Bob Cobley, the representative for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Denmark, together with a group of volunteers, determined that the sailor’s name was Harry Gasson. The man worked on board HMS Castor and was killed on 31 May 1916 during the Battle of Jutland.

“We have finally identified him”
Cobley first visited Gasson’s grave in 1972, and over the years a bond has grown between the Brits.

“It’s great to give the sailor his name, he told DR. “I was very moved. I have come so close to the man, and now we have finally identified him”

Nicola Nash, a co-ordinator of the UK Defence Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, emphasised that it was important to honour the sailor’s sacrifices with a tombstone carrying his name, although he died a century ago.

“We will hold a ceremony where one can show respect for the fallen sailors. Harry’s family will have a place to remember and honour their family,” Nash told DR.

Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2018 12:16:42 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2016
Posts: 1,397
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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
Thats what I mean and wanna say,a more than balanced view, thar sir..

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
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