The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to the unidentified deceased members of the U.S. service. It is located at Arlington National Ceremony, standing on top of a hill overlooking Washington D.C.
The white marble sarcophagus depicts three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. There are also six wreaths sculpted on each side, representing the six major campaigns of World War I.
Engraved on the back of the tomb are the words: Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God
On the 11th of November 1921, a number of unknown soldiers from France were brought back to the U.S. and was laid to rest in the same tomb. Coincidentally in 1938, some members of the Congress officiated November 11 to be celebrated every year as Veterans Day.
Unfortunately, wars have been initiated in the years after and the tomb officially became the memorial to commemorate unknown soldiers who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Each year, a special ceremony is held to remember the fallen soldiers and war veterans who sacrificed and fought for our freedom. This occasion is personally observed by the President and is called the “Wreath Laying Ceremony’.
The Arlington National Cemetery further explains the meaning behind this ceremony:
“The most solemn ceremonies occur when the president of the United States, or the president’s designee, lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark the national observance of Memorial Day, Veterans Day or some other special occasion. Ceremonial wreath layings also occur during state visits of foreign dignitaries, who pay formal respects to the sacrifices of America’s veterans by placing a wreath before the Tomb.”
The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in any weather. They are called “Tomb Guards” and are volunteers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as “The Old Guard.”
The honor of the Tomb Guard is incredibly rare, wherein special training is conducted to ensure that they have the highest level of dedication for the task.
A video surfaced a couple of years ago which shows how the Tomb Guard on duty strongly showed his respect to the memorial.
The clip was taken from a tourist in which we can see the guard doing his usual rounds. Unfortunately, we can also hear loud laughter in the background during the mandated time for silence and respect.
While the group probably didn’t do this on purpose, this did not sit too well with the guard. He abruptly halted his routine and faced the noisy crowd as he loudly says:
“It is requested that everyone maintains a level of silence and respect!”
The group immediately fell silent after this powerful announcement as the soldier waits for a few seconds before returning to his routine. It was probably a bit humiliating for the people who were laughing, however, this should serve as a solid reminder of the hardships that these war veterans made for us to enjoy the freedom that we have now.
Watch the powerful video below!
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