Sunday, August 28, 2011
In Case You Missed It
As Hurricane Irene barrels her way toward the mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast, members of The Old Guard continue their vigilance at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
While on duty the Tomb Sentinel crosses a 63-foot rubber surfaced walkway in exactly 21 steps. He then faces the Tomb for 21 seconds, turns again, and pauses an additional 21 seconds before retracing his steps.
The 21 is symbolic of the highest salute according to dignitaries in military and state ceremonies.
Members of The Old Guard have guarded the Tomb every second, of every day regardless of weather or holidays since April 6, 1948.
Cedar's Take: If you haven't been there I doubt you can really appreciate the vista. Go there during the summer with all the tourists if you must. But to really understand Arlington you need to go there in January on a cold day, in the half light of a freezing dawn. The sound is amazing. I swear you can hear the leather in the guard's dress shoes creak.