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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

Senator Cotton Speaks to the Society of the Honor Guard

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tom Cotton It was COL Neale Crosby who wrote some very touching words about “Why We Guard the Tomb” Recently Senator Tom Cotton shared the following words with the Sentinels who have and are guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns:

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Posted 1 year ago at 2:37 pm.

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National Medal of Honor Day 2016

National Medal of Honor Day

National Medal of Honor Day

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Posted 1 year, 8 months ago at 6:09 am.

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Stanton Declares 200 Acres Arlington National Cemetery

A National Cemetery is Declared

On 15 JUNE 1864 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton designated 200 acres of the Custis-Lee estate as a national cemetery. The 1,100 acres were owned by Mary Custis who married Robert E. Lee.  And on this day a portion of the estate welcomed those who have served in the United States military.  The rolling hills would soon be the final resting place for the many who were fighting in the United States Civil War.  Who knew what the future would hold for these acres.

The first burials began just a month earlier when PVT William Christman was laid to rest on May 13th. His final resting place is now in Section 27 of Arlington National Cemetery. The location is quite far from where Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs initially wanted the burials to occur – right around Mary Custis’ rose garden, just south of the mansion.  On June 15, 1864 Meigs officially gave the orders to continue his mission to bury the dead near the mansion.  Though the burials would continue among the newly designated acres.  James Parks dug the first graves for these burials to occur.

The First Tomb of the Unknowns

Civil War Tomb of the Unknowns

Civil War
Tomb of the Unknowns

It was dedicated in September 1866 and sits between the rose garden of Mary Custis Lee and the original amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery.   The Tomb to the Civil War Unknowns was constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers at the direction of  General Meigs.  A pit was dug that was about 20 feet deep and 20 feet around.  The walls and bottom were brick-lined and compartments were made with mortared brick walls.  Each compartment was to hold different body parts.   Unknowns were collected from the battlefield of Bull Run and route along the way as the troops retreated to the Rappahannock.  The remains of 2,111 Union and Confederate dead were collected and enclosed inside before it was sealed with concrete and dirt.  Meigs designed a centagraph to sit on top of the tomb.    On one side of the tomb are inscribed the words below:

BENEATH THIS STONE
REPOSE THE BONES OF TWO THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN UNKNOWN SOLDIERS
GATHERED AFTER THE WAR
FROM THE FIELDS OF BULL RUN, AND THE ROUTE TO THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
THEIR REMAINS COULD NOT BE IDENTIFIED. BUT THEIR NAMES AND DEATHS ARE
RECORDED IN THE ARCHIVES OF THEIR COUNTRY, AND ITS GRATEFUL CITIZENS
HONOR THEM AS OF THEIR NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS. MAY THEY REST IN PEACE.
SEPTEMBER. A. D. 1866.

 

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Posted 3 years, 6 months ago at 11:15 pm.

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Flags In – A tradition at Arlington National Cemetery

Old Guard Soldier - Flags In

Old Guard Soldier – Flags In

2014 Memorial Day Weekend is ahead of us.  The work has already begun at Arlington National Cemetery. Soldiers from The Old Guard – 3d Infantry Regiment of the US Army are ready. They are equipped with their rucksacks filled with American flags and will spend the next few hours placing a flag in front of every headstone in the cemetery.  With 624 acres, over 250,000 flags will soon be fluttering in the gentle breeze across the rolling hills of this national shrine.   A tribute of thanks to those who have served and are at rest among the acres. Continue Reading…

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Posted 3 years, 6 months ago at 2:53 pm.

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National Medal of Honor Day – 2011

Congressional Medals of Honor - US Navy/Marine, US Army, US Air ForceFriday, 25 MARCH 2011 came and went with little fanfare, it seems the country was focused on basketball, events around the world or didn’t really know that a day was set aside to raise the awareness of the true heroes, most of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice and never saw the medal they were awarded… Continue Reading…

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Posted 6 years, 8 months ago at 11:49 am.

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A Tomb Guard’s Last Walk

 

A very rare mission… with an even rarer ending…

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Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 10:45 pm.

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The tradition continues –

Earlier this week another small milestone was set in history…

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Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 12:44 am.

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PART TWO: TOG on a Mission – 2010

PART ONE of this entry touched on the selection and inclusion of the photos from the cover through JUN 2010.   PART TWO  gets a bit more into history and background rather than the selection of photos as I go through JUL to DEC of 2010.
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Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 5:50 am.

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PART ONE: TOG on a Mission – 2010

Here’s a more in-depth look at the making and background of the calendar – “The Old Guard on Mission – 2010” – some history and little known facts…

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Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 5:50 am.

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Мерры Чристмас !

Or for those who cannot read Russian Cyrillic –

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 10:03 pm.

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