The Society has lost its champion, I have lost my best friend...
6 years ago
"With heavy heart, I want to let you know that we lost a good soldier last night. He fought hard to the end.” With these words, a dutiful and loving son announced the death of our Neale Cosby (1958-60) who passed away on June 4th, 2017, and with him part of our history in the Society as well. You will read many expressions of love, respect and gratitude by his family, the hundreds he served with, mentored and extended his friendship. Each will speak to those qualities that inspired them, or helped them in meeting life’s challenges, their work or time of need; these qualities were uniquely Neale’s. Their comments will evidence the many interests he applied himself to. They will trumpet his profound love for his family, and for his Country. I’d like to share the comments I received from three Tomb Guards. Meredith Smith (1958), Society co-founder remembers:
“I loved the man as role model, leader, teacher and friend as well as my officer in command. He was never off duty in his expectations whether loving father and husband or just best in his class as a fine human being. Never once did he raise his voice to achieve his goal. I would follow him without question knowing he would be right there when needed. He was best of his class. How lucky were to have this man in our lives. God Bless Neale Cosby.”Past President Jim Cardamon (1957-58) commented upon hearing the news that:
“We lost a hero last night. Heaven gained one. What he has done for us will never be completely known. That is how he was. An American soldier died last night. I respected and loved the man.”Gavin McILvenna (1997-98), co-founder and current President remembers:
“One of the four original founding fathers of the Society, he was the primary driving force behind the formation and incorporation of the Society in 1999, and served as our first Society President. Neale was constantly looking to make the Society not only relevant to the Tomb Guard mission and a continuation of our service to the Unknown Soldiers, but a platform to educate the world about both."
From his first tour in Vietnam (1967) when he was assigned to MACV-SOG as a Major
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The History of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 26 paintings by artist Dave Rappaport going on exhibit in France (three locations).Presented by the Military Women's Memorial and the Society of the...
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Did you know?
Has anyone ever tried to get past the Tomb guards, or attempted to deface the Tomb?
Yes, that is the reason why we now guard the Tomb. Back in the early 1920's, we didn't have guards and the Tomb looked much different. It was flat at ground level without the 70 ton marble 'cap'. People often came to the cemetery in those days and a few actually used the Tomb as a picnic area, likely because of the view. Soon after in 1925, they posted a civilian guard. In 1926, a US Army soldier was posted during cemetery hours. On July 1, 1937 guard duty was expanded to the 24 hour watch. Since then, the ceremony has evolved throughout the years to what you see today. Today, most of the challenges faced by the Sentinels are tourists who are speaking too loudly or attempting to get a better picture (by entering the post).