Thursday, June 16, 2011

Washington D.C. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Peace, Victory, and Valor.

During the Rolling Thunder Rally I was able to witness the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. The young men chosen to guard the unknown soldier are some of America's best. Requirements of the Guard:

"They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.

After TWO YEARS, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first SIX MONTHS of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame. Every guard spends FIVE HOURS A DAY getting his uniforms ready for guard duty."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Standing Tall

We took these photos while visiting our "Statue of  Liberty"
To think you were once able to climb inside Miss Liberty all the way up through her torch. Now with a special pass only, you can go up through her crown. However most visitors now only go to the top of her base.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

The sign below reads: A Gift from the people of the Republic of France to the People of the United States.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sturgis Sunset at Hog Heaven

Our camp at sunset was a little comfort zone after a long day of riding and seeing all the exciting sites that Sturgis has to offer. When we did get back and were ready to stay put for the night we sat in our captain chairs and listened to the live music coming from the bar area of the campground. The grass was thick and lush.  The air was dry and there were few bugs with the exception of grasshoppers.  There was a faint smell of grills cooking mixed with the lingering fresh pine. The sky was clear and star filled. We put our two person tent in the back of the truck so we were up off the ground. With a carpet bed liner, foam mattress and our sleeping bags, it was more comfortable for us than a hotel. It was perfect sleeping weather, too. Camping at Sturgis was a great experience for us. We would not hesitate to do it again.