Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Known but to God

It takes the precision of an atomic clock, the patience of a saint, and the kind of resolve few people will ever possess to qualify to be one of the honor guards who diligently watch over the tomb of the unknown soldier. Here are some photos from my recent journey to the Arlington National Cemetery, where I witnessed the solemn guard change ceremony. The guard paces 21 steps and waits in place for 21 seconds on each end of his station, all the while showing off his rifle and bayonet to anyone who dares to breach his circle. Sentries are changed every hour on the hour and once every two hours after nightfall. They wear the same uniforms all year long, in every type of weather condition imaginable. And, they do it happily for it is because of the sacrifice of the unknown soldier and all others like him that we are able to carry on as we do today.

I know they do this in other countries, but ours is the best, haha. It was not the most optimal time of the day to take pictures, but the park did not open until 9:00 a.m., so I did not have much of a choice. I stopped at the Kennedy graves and the Arlington House first, so by the time I made it to the unknown soldier tomb, it was around 11:00 a.m. But, more pics to come soon!

Perhaps one of President Obama's helicopters hovering in the distance...

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