October 2020 – National Salute Events
3 months ago
We are getting word from all corners of the United States about different National Salute events being created in your communities. With the local and national restrictions of COVID some people are suspending their events, yet others are finding creative ways to continue the local traditions while remaining safe and in compliance with guidelines.
Some of the highlights so far include the National Salute being included into:
- 21-gun salute from shore batteries at the historic Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia.
- A small ceremony in Spokane, Washington hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
- Gathering of local veterans around a flagpole to recite the Pledge of Allegiance hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 166 at the DeLeon Plaza Gazebo in downtown Victoria, Texas.
- Short outside service and bell ringing hosted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in The Dalles, Oregon.
- The annual Veteran’s Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the World War II and Civil War Memorials in the City of Birmingham, Michigan hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
- Bell ringing by staff of the Maryhill Museum of Art at the Stonehenge War Memorial in Goldendale, Washington.
- Ringing of a 1850 farm bell at the grave of Sergeant Archer’s grave in Osceola, Indiana at Chapel Hill Memorial Park, followed by a wreath ceremony.
If you are planning to include the National Salute in your communities Veterans Day events, please share them with us we can help get the word out!
Historians from Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) will be hosted by the National World War I Museum and Memorial on January 26, 2021 at 7:00pm where they will talk about the new educational module on...
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Did you know?
How many Sentinels have been female?
There have been over 630 tomb guards awarded the badge since 1958 when we started counting. There are hundreds more from the year 1926 when the Army started guarding the Tomb. The 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) is the unit that has been given the duty of guarding the Tomb. It was given this sacred duty in 1948. The Old Guard was -- and still is -- considered a combat unit. As an Infantry unit, females were not permitted in the ranks for many years. It wasn't until 1994 that females were permitted to volunteer to become a Sentinel when the 289th Military Police Company was attached to the Old Guard. The MP branch is a combat support unit and includes females.
In 1996, SGT Heather Johnson became the first female to earn the Tomb Guard Identification Badge. She volunteered for duty in June 1995 and earned her badge in 1996. However, SGT Johnson was not the only female Sentinel. Since then, there have been three additional female Sentinels awarded the Tomb Guard Identification Badge. SGT Danyell Wilson earned her badge in 1997, SSG Tonya Bell received hers in 1998, and SGT Ruth Hanks earned her badge, #643 in June 2015.
Several other units have since been attached to the Old Guard -- food service, transportation, medics, etc. -- so now females have an ever greater opportunity to become a Sentinel. Females must meet the same requirements as the male soldiers to be eligible to volunteer at the Tomb. the only difference is that females have a minimum height of 5'8" -- which is the same standard to be a member of the Old Guard.