Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guard Stabbed, Response Goes Viral
Marilyn Caylor 12/7/2017
When Americans think of the Changing of the Guards, frozen-faced men in furry black hats and Buckingham Palace probably come to mind. But, it turns out that we actually have our own time-honored tradition of a Changing of the Guard, and this special ceremony takes place closer to home, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
The fiercely loyal men who guard the Tomb are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and not even the wrath of mother nature will stop them from doing their job. Even during Sandy, when heavy rains and winds ripped through the metro Washington, D.C. area, these brave sentinels didn't leave their post.
Yet, there are some things that might possibly cause one of The Old Guards to break down and lose their composure - for instance, an unexpected stabbing might do the trick. But, this wasn't just any regular old stabbing! It was done at the hands of none other than the relief Commander himself.
Tomb Guard sentinels are soldiers who are part of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regimen, which is traditionally known as The Old Guard. That's because they're the Army's oldest active-duty infantry, having served our nation since 1784. Not only is it a distinction to be one of The Old Guards, but it's also of the utmost honor to "walk" the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
There's a rigorous training process that a soldier must go through before they can become a Tomb Guard sentinel. Getting injured on the job isn't normally part of the deal, but having perfect conduct and precision, even during surprise mishaps, most certainly is.
Each sentinel stands guard for 30 minutes, and when that time is up, a replacement sentinel takes over. It's what's known as the official Changing of the Guard ceremony, and it's a beautiful thing to watch. But, before a guard is relieved of duty, the white glove inspection of his rifle must be performed.
At a recent Changing of the Guard, the relief Commander accidentally slipped up - literally! The rifle he was inspecting slipped through his fingers, and the bayonet at the other end pierced the unsuspecting sentinel's shoe and shot straight though his foot!
Underneath those smart uniforms are actual human beings, and all humans are prone to making mistakes. It's how these Tomb Guards recover from, or react to, those mistakes that makes them otherworldly.
Most of us normal people would immediately drop to the ground, grab our foot, and scream out like a baby banshee. But no, this perfectly composed man of steel didn't even flinch, and he probably wasn't batting a single eyelash behind those mysteriously dark sunglasses of his either.
That's because these proudly stoic sentinels are well-trained, and being foot-knifed by a wayward bayonet is no more bothersome than a mosquito bite. In fact, this tough guy didn't even limp when he marched away!
Lucky for us, a visiting tourist happened to film the whole thing as it unfolded, so we can see what real superheroes are actually made of. Wow, no wonder this has gone viral!