It is Sunday morning and I am up early because that is what I do....get up early. Actually I have a lot of things to do today and places to go. We will be on a fairly long road trip within the next three hours.
Memorial Day weekend and the big day is tomorrow. I have always been in awe of the changing of the Guards and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For those of you who haven't seen the precision with which it is done, here is a link to watch it.
The Old Guard is the Third United States Infantry Regiment with the responsibility of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as escorting deceased Army service members to their final resting place in the "Gardens of Stone", (Arlington National Cemetary). They are an active, well trained military unit that is also responsible for the protecting Washington DC.
To give you a prospective of the devotion these folks feel for their fallen comrades I offer the following true event.
As hurricane Isabel approached Washington DC the commander came up with a contingency plan that would allow the soldiers guarding the tomb to protect themselves from the impending danger while still carrying out their assignment. However the Guards chose to ignore the contingency and continued to guard the Tomb through the night even with trees falling around them. To them it was a matter of honoring their obligation to the men and women who served before them and didn't have the choice of weather during battle. A true act of patriotism on the part of this Regiment.
Tomorrow we honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice that gives us the freedoms to do the things we do. Please don't forget our troops past and present. Regardless of how you feel about the politics of our International Policies, respecting these men and women is our duty.