No Laughing At The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Filmed at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA:

So disrespectful.  A lot of people just don’t “get it” because they are so far removed from death in war.  For most, I imagine visiting there is just another meaningless stop on the list before they head to the Cheesecake Factory.  I’ve never been to war, so I don’t know what it’s like either… but I definitely can comprehend the gravity of the commitment and sacrifice every soldier makes.

Thoughts?

Hat tip: Al

66 COMMENTS

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Sendarius May 11, 2012 at 03:01 am

When my wife and I first visited Arlington National Cemetery in 1995, I couldn’t have spoken even if I wanted to: the lump in my throat felt like I had half swallowed a pair of woollen socks.

That feeling hasn’t changed during any visit since.

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 07:24 am

Amen. When I went with the ex to visit her brothers grave there I was overcome with a vast sense of humility. Here I am…there they are. ‘Thank you’ is pretty much all I could muster.

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Todd S May 11, 2012 at 02:11 pm

+1

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Jeep May 11, 2012 at 03:07 am

I’ve been to the Omaha beach American cemetery,same feeling, as for every monument dedicated to these men (and women) believing in something more important than their little ego.

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Jester67 May 11, 2012 at 03:38 am

For those not in the know:

He steps off of the path to reprimand the audience members. Why? Because the walk is 21 steps with a 21 second pause at each end. He is removing himself from the path to issue the reprimand so he may pick up the march where he left off.

Why 21 steps/seconds? Because the 21 gun salute is the highest honor one can receive. It is the salute given to the President of the United States, former presidents, monarchs, and Medal of Honor recipients.

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Jester67 May 11, 2012 at 03:41 am

My bad, he steps off the path and stays off so he may reset the count at one of the ends., not to pick it back up where he left off.

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Linoge May 11, 2012 at 05:46 am

Huh. I had no idea that they were actually allowed to break their patrol without someone doing something really stupid. Guess it makes sense they would, and that there would be a protocol for it.

In other news, I am ashamed that such protocols are necessary, and moreso that the people around the laughers did not smack them upside their idiotic heads and get them in line.

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bikeman May 11, 2012 at 06:18 am

There’s another video where someone crosses the line/chain and a guard prepping to do the change over yells and takes a couple steps forward. I think they were trying to catch some trash that got blown in but I couldn’t make it out. Needless to say, don’t mess with them.

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 07:31 am

This one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-dBwdeJSGo&feature=related

The people in these vids treat it like it is street theater. (another damn reason I hate tourists that come here)

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ZerCool May 11, 2012 at 06:53 am

3ID/Old Guard does not fuck around about the Tomb of the Unknowns. Nor should they. There are scads of videos on YouTube of people being reprimanded by the guard, and rightfully so. I agree with Linoge that it’s shameful this is necessary.

Somewhere (Netflix? Hulu?) there is a documentary about the Tomb, and the Guard. The requirements just to be eligible are staggering, and it is a lifelong commitment – there are “REMOVED” plates on the Guard’s wall for former members who have shamed themselves later in life. God bless those men.

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Heath May 11, 2012 at 07:14 am

Don’t they have to swear not to consume alcohol for life?

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 07:41 am

No. Urban legend.

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 07:47 am

“Somewhere (Netflix? Hulu?) there is a documentary about the Tomb”

‘Voices from the Tomb?’

Link here…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwP1W4aWZEQ

And sorry Mr. Employer….you’ll be losing an hour of time now :-)

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SAOperater May 11, 2012 at 07:32 am

The crowd should have taken care of these jokers and “removed” the from the stands with the maximum amount of forced they could dish out.

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 07:54 am

The Sentinels were put in place when a WWI vet witnessed people using the original tomb as a picnic table.

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Jeep May 11, 2012 at 08:56 am

Thanks a lot for the video link, I’ll have a look at it when my wife/baby/car/employer leave me alone for a full hour non-stop… between 1 and 2 AM. Man, I feel a bit like Jack Bauer ! :-)

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matt May 11, 2012 at 09:22 am

So laughing somehow is disrespectful, yet being a dick, yelling at people, and clacking your heels together like your Dorothy wanting to go back to Kansas isnt?

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Bryce May 11, 2012 at 09:35 am

Shut up you troll

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

Little bitch says what?

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battlewagon May 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

I’d say maintaining a military bearing in the face of such ignorance and disrespect is pretty impressive. As for the Dorothy analogy, I doubt you’ve ever accomplished anything in your life that required any discipline or attention to detail, so I’m not going to bother trying to explain.

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matt May 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

Cause you know, marching back and forth requires a great deal of attention to detail…

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

awww, Matt is so cute.

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battlewagon May 11, 2012 at 01:50 pm

better get off the computer kiddo, your mother told me late last night that you were still grounded from the internet…

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JConn May 11, 2012 at 09:37 am

I’m sorry there buddy but everything in they do has a reason, from the heal clicks to the way they walk to the number of seconds they salute. These guys take their job very seriously because they view it as their duty to show respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. There are signs EVERYWHERE saying to be silent. It is also requested in every announcement. The tomb is a sacred place, and yes laughing is EXTREMELY disrespectful.

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matt May 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

If there are signs everywhere to remain silent, wouldnt the respectful thing for the guard to do, is whisper it to whoever was laughing, or just STFU himself? Instead he makes as much noise as he can, and clack his heels together to further the show. If anything the guard exacerbated the “disrespectful” situation. And how exactly does laughing effect the sanctity of a place, or show disrespect?

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Heath May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

The fact that you have to ask such a question speaks VOLUMES.

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Andy from CT May 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

I blame his parents. They apparently never taught him how not to be an ignorant douchebag.

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

Do you take your hat/cover off during the Star Spangled banner? Are there signs posting that you should? (or, you may just be that as* in the crowd that doesn’t remove it)

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matt May 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

I don’t wear hats, but if I did, no I wouldnt take it off.

Does it really matter, and does anyone really care? Consider this, plenty of people like to put those lil American flags on their lawn on the 4th, or fly a flag for veterans day. But do any of them know how to properly dispose of a flag, or do they just throw them in the trash? Considering that most of them are made in China, you know they wont last for more than a couple years before they are torn and tattered. How about you and your buddies setup a Burn An American flag seminar in your city, so you can teach people the proper way to show a flag respect. I still find it funny that the largest number of American flags that I burned at once in my life was in the boy scouts.

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RWC May 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

So you’re a disrespectful douche. Noted.

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DaveP. May 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Seconded.

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Heath May 11, 2012 at 02:41 pm

And the motion carries !

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Gina October 1, 2014 at 03:06 am

You are supposed to bury a flag. Not burn it or throw it out.

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dave w May 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

I was thinking thats a tough job in the summer heat, but youtube shows its no more fun in the winter or torrential rain, although less tourists. I will have to watch that documentary tonight.

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dave w May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

Wikipedia makes me feel better now i know how long the shifts are.

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Punish3r May 11, 2012 at 01:29 pm

Matt ill say this.. there are lot’s of “US” Soldiers out there and I guarantee had I been there and you disrespected it like that you sir would leave in an ambulance. This isn’t an internet tough guy talking this is an 18 year veteran of 6 tours to Iraq talking. There are countless others (soldiers and family members) so go ahead be disrespectful go to funerals and tombs and make noise and see what happens.

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JConn May 11, 2012 at 01:33 pm

Not a combat veteran here, but amen.

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matt May 11, 2012 at 01:47 pm

Yet more evidence that service members are more than willing to brutally oppress their fellow countrymen, simply because they dont agree with their political viewpoint. You might want to be carefull there Mr Internet Toughguy, it could easily happen to you. Look at the Bonus Protests of 1932, Gen MacArtuther, Gen Eisenhower and Maj. Patton, brutally assaulted their fellow service members (WW1 veterans), with rifles, bayonets, tanks and a arsenic based chemical weapon the Germans found useful in WW1. Ever wonder how they became known as the greatest generation? They took the title by force from the prior generation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army

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matt May 11, 2012 at 01:51 pm

The best part of that protest, was due to Gen. MacAruther’s blood thirst, when he was directly ordered by his Commander and Chief, Pres. Hoover, to cease his assault on the WW1 veterans, he refused and disobeyed an order so he could continue his assault, simply because he didnt agree with the veterans suspected political viewpoints.

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battlewagon May 11, 2012 at 01:57 pm

wow, somebody has discovered wikipedia…

ever wonder why you don’t have any real friends and you can’t attract members of the opposite sex? it’s not your personal hygeine (although that is definitely a contributor), it’s because you are a self centered pedantic twat.

Thing is I am a combat vet and what I would do if *you* were making a spectacle of yourself during a solemn ceremony is to come over and politely ask you to stop. There wouldn’t be a need for violence nor would I offer any, you are all talk, you’d fold up like a beach chair, a chubby sweaty urine soaked beach chair.

I’m not an ubernationalist, I understand that it’s your right to behave in any way you see fit, but I’m free to judge you for it, you have been weighed and found wanting kiddo.

Go be sad and unnattractive somewhere else, adults are speaking.

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matt May 11, 2012 at 02:21 pm

“Thing is I am a combat vet…”
No one cares, other than other veterans. Enjoy your PTSD and beating your wife.

“…what I would do… is to come over and politely ask you to stop.”
Wow, how did you manage to miss my point when I said:
“So laughing somehow is disrespectful, yet being a dick, yelling at people, and clacking your heels together like your Dorothy wanting to go back to Kansas isnt? …wouldnt the respectful thing for the guard to do, is whisper it to whoever was laughing…”

“…you’d fold up like a beach chair, a chubby sweaty urine soaked beach chair… Go be sad and unnattractive somewhere else, adults are speaking.”
lol, how did you come up with that? Are the conditions on base really so bad that urine soaked furniture is a typical topic of conversation? And you consider yourself an adult because you dish out 5th grade level insults on the internet? Right…

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PAPAGE0RG10 May 11, 2012 at 01:57 pm

Shouldn’t you be “occupying” something?

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matt May 11, 2012 at 02:14 pm

I’m occupying this blog.

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whutup May 11, 2012 at 02:37 pm

Yeah, but you are the 1%, if not even less. So, gtfo.

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matt May 11, 2012 at 03:02 pm

Then why does no one care about veterans? And if you think they do care, then how do you explain their indifference to conditions in the VA hospitals?

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PAPAGE0RG10 May 11, 2012 at 02:49 pm

Well, at least that isn’t costing me anything.

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Jon May 11, 2012 at 02:30 pm

I’ve worked with the guys assigned to the Tomb. For a soldier, earning the badge for the tomb is tougher than any of you can imagine, it’s the second-least awarded, next to the astronaut badge. Many Honor Guard soldiers assigned to the 1 BN, 3rd Inf serve as guards for the Tomb, but to earn the permanent badge they must do it for nine months, pass a written exam, an oral board, an inspection, and must be recommended Honor Guard Company Commanding Officer (CO). Many try and many fail. They are not only required to guard the tomb, but to maintain order and solemn respect from the tourists. The badge can be revoked at any time after being awarded if the person brings disgrace to themselves or the Tomb, even if they’re 90 years old. And yes, they can drink, and they do when off duty.

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032125 May 11, 2012 at 03:06 pm

When I was deployed to Fort Myers in Va, I used to walk across the street from my barracks, through a parking lot, hop over a little stone wall, and wander through Arlington almost every day. It is a unique place; especially at night when it lights up with fireflies.

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Kardinal May 11, 2012 at 03:24 pm

Don’t feed the Trolls. “Matt” is not worth responding to.

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Dillankid May 11, 2012 at 09:05 pm

I was about to post the same thing…

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Jeep May 11, 2012 at 03:24 pm

Dear Matt,
Thank you for your nice comments.
I understand that being a wise ass here may appeal to you, you are probably not interested in behaving in a military manner and don’t really see the point in doing so for other people. Jake McNiece, the paratrooper who inspired the movie “The dirty dozen”, the only paratrooper in 101st AB who made 4 combat jumps in WW2, didn’t see either how waking up early, saluting the flag and keeping his uniform clean would make him a better soldier. He was an outstanding warrior and a natural leader.
Maybe you also are a world known warrior, and you don’t need this kind of ceremony to show your patriotism. But then you’d understand why laughing in a military cemetery is inappropriate. Would you find appropriate to laugh at someone’s funeral?
Of course soldiers’ way to show their respect to their fallen comrades may seem weird to tree-loving bisexual like you and your parents, but please, we all got it, you don’t like soldiers, and you want to tell the world about it.
Admit it though, they do you no harm, do they? Why don’t you leave them alone?

And yes, I got most of my inspiration from the excellent Generation Kill, but you probably didn’t watch it anyway…

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Kardinal May 11, 2012 at 03:29 pm

Regardless of the comments of trolls, let me say this…

I lived in Arlington for 20 years. I have lived in Northern Virginia for 38 years. I have visited the Tomb of the Unknowns dozens of times. I have NEVER seen disrespect shown there.

I do NOT think that “For most, I imagine visiting there is just another meaningless stop on the list before they head to the Cheesecake Factory.” That’s gravely insulting to the millions of people who have respectfully stood near, prayed for, and remembered our fallen at the tomb.

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ENDO-Mike May 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm

If you took my comment as insulting that’s your own issue. I wasn’t talking about the people that go there and pay their respects. I was talking about the jokers that only go there because their AAA guide book had it pinned on the map.

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overkill556x45 May 11, 2012 at 03:33 pm

Hey, ENDO Mike, remember a couple of years back when you had a troll problem and you pulled their IP and found their physical address? Just sayin….

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Kardinal May 11, 2012 at 03:53 pm

Don’t be foolish. Resorting to real world actions based on Internet trolling is a complete overreaction. Ignore him. He feeds on the attention. Don’t insult him, don’t belittle him, don’t threaten him, just ignore him.

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overkill556x45 May 11, 2012 at 04:09 pm

I wasn’t encouraging violence of any kind. It would be stupid to engage in such behavior. It’s just that the last guy changed his tune really fast when the address of his mom’s basement went public. I just think it’s funny how tough they are when there’s no screen to hide behind. I could personally care less what this young fellow says or believes. I was upset at first, but now I don’t care. Just another anti-veteran, who is completely entitled to his opinion.

Consider my previous comment retracted. Matt, insult away. Mike, you can delete my first comment, and this one as well. Sorry I fed the troll.

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matt May 11, 2012 at 03:58 pm

i’d lol

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paul kimble May 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm

has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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elephantrider May 11, 2012 at 03:41 pm

Please stop feeding “matt” the internet troll. Aside from coming here to spout off his agenda, he clearly doesn’t, or at least pretends not to, understand the concept of public shaming. When the guards stop what they are doing and loudly reprimand an idividual there is an element of public shame employed. Many people’s fragile ego’s can’t deal with being told that anything they are doing is wrong, let alone publicly. These are the people that grew up being told that everything they do is great and awesome.

It’s nice to see that there is at least one place left in the U.S. where an approprite level of respect and decorum is enforced. I get so tired of seeing masses of boobs, whooting, cheering, and hollering at the national anthem at just about any event. I love the U.S. flag and anthem just as much as the next guy, but they only remind me of those who sacraficed in order to protect them. Hardly something to cheer over.

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Church May 11, 2012 at 07:44 pm

I didn’t read all of these comments, but this was awesome! I hate people that talk/joke during things you don’t talk/joke during.

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Jeep May 12, 2012 at 06:43 am

Same here Endo-Mike, could you delete my posts here (except the first one), I realize I’ve been feeding a troll, which is never good.

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Jim P. May 12, 2012 at 05:12 pm

My father is retired and an RVer. He related how he and his wife stopped in the D.C. area and went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

He hit it in late spring before school was over for the year. He was disgusted by the bus loads of kids coming in laughing, joking, etc. There are just some places that humor and rowdiness is not appropriate.

As for me, I saw a t-shirt today that said:

If you can read this shirt, thank a Teacher.

That you can read it in English, thank a Veteran.

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Mark May 14, 2012 at 02:58 am

Disrespect to anyone at any time is wrong. Whether it be at the military’s holiest of holy’s or on a blog’s comment section.

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Chase May 14, 2012 at 02:11 pm

I just imagined an Honor Guard saying this.

*salute*

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ArmTheAnimals April 25, 2014 at 05:27 pm

Good for him! Idiots like that are sadly the majority these days…it frightens me that they drive, operate machinery and worst of all, vote. Damn straight he should shut them the F up. They’re lucky they were not forcibly removed by the guard or others who were actually there paying respect, not behaving like they were at the snack bar at the county fair. I knew this soldier would properly defend the sanctity, but didn’t realize how loud I had the volume…he scared the heck out of me! He gave them a healthy dose of scared silent one can only hope they never forget.

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PENTATONIXFAN September 17, 2015 at 10:12 pm

I don’t know how many of you served in the military but thank you for your service I don’t know how the guard handles trying to keep everyone quiet without getting frustrated, if I was there and someone was being disrespectful I would beat the crap out of them

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