Shortly after World War II, the U.S. Army assigned its oldest unit to “Our Nation’s Most Sadred Shrine” – Arlington National Cemetery. The unit became known as The Old Guard, the Army’s ceremonial unit. Its top priority today is military honor funerals for those members of our armed forces who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom.
Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey recently shared a story with U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas which epitomizes the meaning of The Old Guard at Arlington. On their way to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Daily explained the duties of The Old Guard to his guest, who is a foreign military leader. While still focused on the headstones, the guest said, “Now I know why your soldiers fight so hard. You take better care of your dead than we do our living.”
Sen. Cotton, himself a decorated combat veteran, said: “We honor our fallen for them, of course, but also for us, the living. Their stories of heroism, sacrifice, and patriotism remind us of what is best in ourselves, and they teach our children what is best in America.”
Hopefully these stories will be more widely taught, as many of our children take things for granted. An appropriate reminded to you and old alike: “The price we pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil people.” – Plato
William H. Bell