why do they guard the tomb of unknown soldier

Has anyone ever tried to get past the Tomb guards, or attempted to deface the Tomb? Yes, that is the reason why we now guard the Tomb. Back in the early 1920's, we didn't have guards and the Tomb looked much different (see attached picture). People often came to the cemetery in those days for picnics during which time some would actually use the Tomb as a picnic area (probably because of the view). Soon after, 1925, they posted a civilian guard; in 1926, a military guard was posted during cemetery hours; and on July 1, 1937, this was expanded to the 24-hour watch.


Since then, the ceremony has developed throughout the years to what we have today.
ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) Б The uniform is perfect. Every step is precise. And the words are commanding, so much that visitors thought a man wore these shoes until they spotted her hair wrapped into a bun. БCause IБm wearing a male uniform so we all look the same out there except for obviously my hair.


ThatБs really the only difference thatБs out there,Б said Army Staff Sgt. Ruth Hanks, a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Sgt. Hanks doesnБt see herself as different, but the wall of guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns shows she is one of just four women to serve as a Sentinel. БI feel like one of the guys when IБm down here but I do understand the message that it does come out of a woman being able to do whatever you want to do,Б said Sgt. Hanks.


Sgt. Hanks is throwing off some visitors to Arlington National Cemetery. БI noticed there was a hair bun and I thought that was rather odd until the person turned toward me and I noticed it was a woman,Б said Randy Layne, who is visiting from CA. She escorted students from New Jersey during a wreath laying ceremony. БJust realizing how far weБve come. How they were restricted of many rights and how now sheБs up there commanding,Б said 13-year-old Casey Heigmann.


The 28-year-old chose the position following a deployment to Afghanistan. The guards have not missed a day since the 24-hour vigil began July 2, 1937. Her steps just happen to make history. БItБs just about paying respect to those who have served and gave everything for our country so we can do what we do today,Б said Sgt. Hanks. ItБs more than a dayБs work. Sgt. Hanks started her shift at 4:30 a. m. Thursday. She will change the guard every hour until 7:30 a. m. Friday.

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