Evan Gearing's Photography Exposition

Guarding the Tomb

This Memorial Day weekend is for relaxing, bar-b-que-ing and generally enjoying ourselves.  However, it’s really the weekend for reflecting on those who sacrificed their lives so we can do those things. Please remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

This is a shot of a Soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery near our nation’s Capital.  Not sure if you can read the inscription on the tomb itself, but it states, “Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God.”  It’s an impressive and moving sight if you ever get a chance to go.

The Tomb Guard marches 21 steps down the black mat behind the Tomb, turns, faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process. After the turn, the sentinel executes a sharp “shoulder-arms” movement to place the weapon on the shoulder closest to the visitors to signify that the sentinel stands between the Tomb and any possible threat. Twenty-one was chosen because it symbolizes the highest military honor that can be bestowed — the 21-gun salute.

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