SHGTUS Reunion Highlights – ‘Arlington Sons’ Performance

October 19, 2014 | Society Spotlight, Tomb Guards Never Forget

There were many highlights from this past reunion. Perhaps the most unique was the performance of the musical piece, Arlington Sons, by David and Richard Pittsinger. David is a renowned Broadway star who commissioned the piece in 2011 to specifically perform with his son Richard, a soloist and graduate of New York’s Saint Thomas Choir School. The piece tells a very unique story, of a father bringing his son to Arlington Cemetery for the first time to observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It “illuminates a universal experience—the changing of the guard between generations—in a uniquely American context. It is believed to be the first-ever musical composition written for a real-life father and son.”

David’s motivation to commission a piece came from a desire to pay tribute to his late father, Richard M. Pittsinger who was a Tomb Guard in the 1950s. Composer Scott Eyerly, wrote the piece with this connection in mind. Observing the live performance, many Tomb Guards noted that Arlington Sons really told a multi generational story with David’s father Richard, the Tomb Guard, having an unseen but tangible presence.

The Society of the Honor Guard has a phrase, “soldiers never die until they are forgotten, Tomb Guards never forget”. Arlington Sons is the living embodiment of that idea and we salute the Pittsinger family for their moving tribute and thank them for sharing it with our members at our 2014 banquet! It was a once a lifetime performance and our organization thanks David and Richard for their commitment to paying tribute to the Unknowns and his father.

Richard Mayne Pittsinger, Tomb Guard 1954-55

Richard Mayne Pittsinger, Tomb Guard 1954-55