Paying respect to the tomb of the fallen soldiers can be as simple as being quiet when we visit a place like The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is at the Arlington National Cemetery and it is located at the top of the hill that overlooks Washington, D.C. These tombs are considered sacred and it is the place dedicated to honoring the unknown men and women who served their countries.
It is believed that this tradition originated in 1916 with an Anglican chaplain named David Railton who was serving in France. After this, the United States followed on March 4, 1921, when the Congress agreed and approved to bury an identified American soldier from the World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater. Many countries followed suit and created their own unknown soldier monuments like India, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries all around the world.
Paying Respect When Visiting The Monument
Since 1937, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24/7. The first Tomb guards are from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. Up to this day, there is always a tomb guard to keep watch over the monument every minute, including the days when the cemetery is closed and during inclement weather. The tomb guard makes sure that the people who visit The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier follow the strict orders to be silent and to pay respect to the fallen soldiers.
When people visit The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, they are always reminded to arrive with full of respect. However, it cannot be avoided that there are people who take this rule for granted and break the code of conduct which causes the guard to act. This happens often, but those who visit are not always lucky enough to catch this on tape. Luckily, one visitor was able to video the incident and as expected, it went viral!
In the viral video, you can hear a group of people giggling and chatting while at the monument. At first, the guard just lets it go, but after a couple of seconds, he broke his march to address the disrespectful crowd. He stood still with his rifle on hand and shouted, “It is requested that everyone maintain an atmosphere of silence and respect at all times!” Instantly, the giggling and the distinct chatter stopped and the place reverted back to complete silence.
The guards’ clear and loud request echoed and the timing was perfect. The result was instant and when he was sure that everyone stays quiet, he proceeded to go back to his usual march. This video was shared online and it didn’t take long for the internet to make it viral. Tomb guards are usually keeping their composure but in this case, what he did was just right for the disrespectful visitors.
Every person deserves respect and we know that every soldier is worth the respect even from a stranger. The internet has mixed emotions about the viral video and some would say that maybe the group of people was laughing at something else entirely and not because of the soldier and the monument. Still, there is always a right place to giggle and chit-chat. When you are at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, make sure that you follow the rules.