Arlington National Cemetery - The very name invokes silence and retrospect of the sacrifices made by our Men and Women in defense of the United States and Her Allies, beginning with the American Civil War.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is world-famous for the precision of close-order military drill performed by the Sentinels from the United States Army 3rd Division known as "The Old Guard". These hand-picked volunteers undergo training and testing that if completed successfully, allows them to assume the responsibilities shared by all member of this special detail - 24/7/365 Guard Duty.
I was fortunate to be able to take these images from the media-only area, due to the presentation of a wreath by the Knights of Columbus, Virginia State Council on Columbus Day, 2018. Despite my many years of being a professional photographer, this particular event is one that will forever last in my memory as being one that is truly sacred and honor-bound - I am merely able to capture the details of this never-ending display of United States Soldiers who have volunteered for this one of a kind duty.
Look closely in these pictures. You will see a young boy taking a picture, yet peering intently at the Soldier as he passes. Perhaps this youngster is suitably impressed to think about enlisting in the future to help protect and defend our Nation. In other pictures, you will see a grizzled Veteran in a blue shirt, staring intently at this inspection. His eyes tell it all - he's "Been There, Done That" too. Perhaps not as a Sentinel from The Old Guard, but he has had his share of inspections during his time in the Army.
I humbly believe as I write this, that all Veterans, especially this (as in me) Veteran, walk away from viewing this with a renewed sense of silent inward pride, recalling our contributions in doing something much greater than ourselves - answering the call to duty and helping protect and defend Our Nation.
© John Cadell Photography