Tomb Guards Never Forget: The Unknowns
8 years ago
I cry when I hear the national anthem of the United States, The Star-Spangled Banner. The tears, a mixture of joy, pride and sadness. Joy for the fact that I live in a country where I am free to become whatever I dream. Pride in the fact that I was fortunate to serve in the United States Army and represent our nation during this anthem. Sadness for the loss of those that sacrificed all in order to allow me this wonderful opportunity.
None sacrificed more than the Unknowns. I always believed that there are certain things that everyone gets to keep, even in death. Like their name. The Unknowns gave up their name, their identity, their opportunity to live on forever memorialized for you, for me, for their families. For this great nation.
So every time I hear The Star-Spangled Banner, I remember that sacrifice. We as Tomb Guards never forget and we will walk through the rain, the sleet, the snow and extreme heat to preserve that memory. So that anybody whoever visits that hallowed ground will they, themselves, never forget. From the darkest hours of night to the brightest hours of day and years after we have left our honored post, we Tomb Guards never forget.
by Chad Cavanaugh, Badge 408
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Did you know?
How long does the Sentinel hesitate after the facing movement to begin the return walk? Is the rifle carried on the same shoulder all the time?
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 the Guard Change ceremony begins.