Monday, May 25, 2009

An Unknown Soldier;s Story

The Unknown Soldier's Tomb has always touched my heart.Long ago when I was an Undergraduate at Emory an enterprising friend made extra money selling sandwiches and coffee in the dorm.Once she approached me seeking donations for "The Unknown Soldier's Mother." I did not realize until later that I had been taken..Anyway, here is a bit from Wikepedia about the Unknown Soldier and a true story of a soldier;s experience.A tribute to Memorial Day...

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Throughout history, many soldiers have died in wars without their remains being identified. In modern times, nations have developed the practice of having a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that represents the war grave of those unidentified soldiers. They usually contain the remains of a dead soldier who is unidentified (or "known but to God" as the stone is sometimes inscribed) and thought to be impossible ever to identify, so that he might serve as a symbol for all of the unknown dead wherever they fell. The anonymity of the entombed soldier is key to the symbolism of the monument: since his or her identity is unknown, it could theoretically be the tomb of anyone who fell in service of the nation in question, and therefore serves as a monument to all of their sacrifices. Much work goes into trying to find a certain soldier, and to verify that it is indeed one of the relevant nation's soldiers.

Perhaps the first memorial of this kind in the world is the 1858 Landsoldaten ("The Foot Soldiers") monument of the First War of Schleswig in Fredericia, Denmark. Another early memorial of this kind is the 1866 memorial to the unknown dead of the American Civil War.

The modern trend was started after First World War when both France and the United Kingdom erected a tomb for unknown soldiers in 1920. The French tomb was installed under the Arc de Triomphe, and the decision to erect it was confirmed by Parliament before a similar idea had even been publicised in the United Kingdom. In the case of the United Kingdom, an Unknown Warrior was chosen on behalf of all First World War British Empire forces in Westminster Abbey. The coffin was followed into the abbey by the King-Emperor, George V and escorted by a guard of honour formed of one hundred recipients of the Victoria Cross[1]. Part of the inscription on the stone reads:

They buried him among the kings Because he Had done good toward God and Toward His house[2]

These tombs are also used to commemorate the unidentified fallen of later wars. Monuments have been built as recently as 1982 in the case of Iraq, 1993 in the case of Australia, and 2004 in the case of New Zealand."

Here is an experience of an unknown soldier posted elsewhere that is so suitable for today.

"It first started when I entered the army. I was sent to Afghanistan to help fight in the war. During the war, there was this battle. The date was January 23, 2005 and then there was this nasty sandstorm! Nobody could see anything! I opened my eyes hastily and found something that I never thought I would see in my life!

It was actually ghosts! And, they were wearing the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy clothes. The only reason I think I could've seen them was because of the sand. They were helping us with the sandstorm fight off the people of Afghanistan! While the sandstorm was going, they were saluting us. That was the first time that I had ever seen spirits!

Then the next time, I was taking a vacation with my family, (I had been sent back to America to stay.) And we were on the beach of Jamaica and the wind picked up and the sand blew for about 5 to 7 seconds. Just then, I was the only one I think that had just seen the spirits and just then they said to me...

"Thank you for serving our country..."

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