Murfreesboro 8th graders help with ceremony at Arlington Nat'l Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

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A special wreath laying ceremony took place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery overlooking Washington, D.C. Middle Tennessee Christian School Students Holden Massa, Meredith McDaniel, Kate Mifflin and Blaine Corley represented Murfreesboro when they presented the wreath on Thursday at the Tomb. All of the students are in 8th grade at MTCS in Murfreesboro. The entire 8th grade class headed to Washington on October 13th.

Where is the tomb:

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

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TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Sentinels of the Third United States Infantry Regiment "Old Guard"

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Q: How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

A: 21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

Q: How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

A: 21 seconds, for the same reason as answer number 1.

Q: Why are his gloves wet?

A: His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

Q: Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time, and if not, why not?

A: No, he carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

Q: How often are the guards changed?

A: Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

Q: What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

A: For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30".

Other requirements of the Guard:

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.

After TWO YEARS, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

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Arlington, DC, MTCS, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Washington
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