Thursday, June 30, 2011

Week of Freedom: Thursday

My work takes me to many places around the country. One of those locations I have been blessed to visit a few times is Washington DC. There I have met with a number of military and federal government employees. Though they have had varied backgrounds, political persuasions and work assignment they have all had a special spirit about them. The people of DC seem to get patriotism.

In addition to the amazing people who make up the DC area there is the geography and historical places. No location in the country is so rich with patriotic sites. Among these sites I have been fortunate enough to visit is Arlington National Cemetery. It is my favorite part of DC. From the moment I first walked onto the grounds it felt different, special and even sacred.

Most of you are familiar with Arlington and its place in America. Arlington is a military cemetery covering 624 acres. The land is broken into 70 sections. The land overlooks the DC area and is very quiet for being so close to the city.

Strolling through the cemetery is a special experience. On one of my first visits to Arlington I made sure I had carved out enough time to experience a special event that takes place every 30 minutes to every hour (depending on the time of year) in Arlington, the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

If you have never witness this silent salute to freedom and those who paid the ultimate price it is well worth the time. The tomb itself is to honor those who died in battle but their remains could not be identified. They are the "unknowns". They are they who gave their life but will never receive credit by name. Thus our military has designed a location and a ceremony which I can only describe as "perfect movement" to honor these brave unnamed men.

My blog post today honors those unknown men who have given so much for my freedom. It also honors that elite group of soldiers who are privileged to guard the tomb. They maintain a 24 hour vigil. Their perfection in ceremony is a tribute to the perfect sacrifices the unnamed soldiers made on behalf of our freedom.

Below are a couple videos. The first is a clip of the changing of the guard. It cuts off a bit early but it was the best one I could find. The second video is a clip about the guards themselves. Enjoy.

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