Honoring the Fallen – Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Veterans Committee Members Gary Gearhart and John McLaurin place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Two SCIF Veterans Committee members and two honored guests participated in a wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery May 08.  The Veterans Committee makes it a priority to honor soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice by participating in a wreath ceremony on an annual basis when possible. 

On this day, Veteran Committee members Gary Gearhart and John McLaurin were joined by Mary Harter and Kathy Butler to represent SCI/F to place a wreath at the Tomb to honor the fallen. 

Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day. In a peaceful setting, the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation. The rolling hills are dotted with trees throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This site serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington.

SCIF members received a special briefing by the Sentinel guards on how to approach the Tomb and how to assist in placing the wreath. The Sentinels guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather. Sentinels are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and headquartered at Fort Myer, Virginia. 

The ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery is such a moving experience that it creates a lasting impression of all those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.  The ceremony is so professionally done as the guards are dressed in their best uniform and every move they make is precise, down to each step and cadence.  It shows how important it is to them as well as the public that this is a scared place to honor those who gave their life to preserve all the freedoms that our citizens cherish. 

If you would like to get involved in the SCIF Veterans Program, contact your local Chapter or your regional representative from SCI.  To participate in the wreath ceremony next year, please contact Kathy Butler, Assistant Director of the Education Department at (520) 798-4892, ext. 336 or by email [email protected].

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