Veterans Day, observed annually on November 11, holds immense significance for numerous individuals as a time dedicated to honoring military veterans. It coincides with Remembrance Day, which commemorates the end of World War I. This occasion prompts reflection and gratitude for the sacrifices made by past and present members of the armed forces. The pursuit and preservation of freedom necessitate sacrifices, and Veterans Day serves as a solemn and, regrettably, poignant reminder of this reality.
Throughout the country, special events and ceremonies take place on November 11th to pay tribute to the men and women in uniform. Typically, these ceremonies commence with the President’s involvement, allowing the entire nation to collectively show their respect through a moment of silence.
One particularly revered ceremony, known as the “Wreath Laying Ceremony,” has been upheld as a traditional ritual for ages. This act holds great esteem and is explained by the Arlington Cemetery website as follows: “Offering flowers at a memorial site is a ritual that occurs around the world, symbolizing the beauty and brevity of life. Floral tributes are made each day at Arlington National Cemetery — at funeral services, public ceremonies, and individual visits to a loved one’s gravesite.” It is a beautiful message indeed. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier often serves as the site for the placement of this wreath, standing as a memorial for all unknown and unnamed soldiers, ensuring that they will never be forgotten.
On significant days, such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day, it is customary for the President to lead these ceremonies. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the focal point where the President, or their representative, lays a wreath to commemorate the national observance of Memorial Day, Veterans Day, or other special occasions. Moreover, ceremonial wreath layings occur during state visits by foreign dignitaries, who pay formal respects to America’s veterans by placing a wreath before the Tomb.
These ceremonies are held in high regard, carrying a profound sense of solemnity, as exemplified in a video from a few years ago. To maintain order, a guard is stationed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, prepared to intervene if necessary. It is crucial that everyone behaves with utmost respect toward the memorial, as it represents the least these fallen soldiers deserve.
During one patrol, the guard unexpectedly encounters a group of individuals displaying disruptive and laughter-filled behavior near the memorial. Their laughter is clearly audible in the video, prompting the guard to take action. Assuming a commanding stance, the guard promptly addresses the group, proclaiming, “It is requested that everyone maintains a level of silence and respect!” Instantly, the laughter ceases, and the soldier resumes patrolling. Although the group may have been taken aback by the guard’s forceful response, it is essential to emphasize the values of respect and honor for our veterans.
Feel free to watch the brief video below to witness the incident firsthand.