The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to ever one in Western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.

I'm a hope'n your week is a go'n fairly tolerable thus far and this column finds youn's in fairly good spirits.

I'm a hope'n that everyone keeps in mind the 60th Anniversary of the "Korean Cease Fire" (July 27, 1958).

If'n you hasn't been read'n the information by Korean War Veteran Monte Geddes, ya has missed a lot. I would especially recommend his column that was in last week's Quill.

Our Veterans shore do deserve all the honor and credit we can give 'em. With that in mind......

Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

I have read where from time to time various Western Illinois folk has visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. Here is some interest'n facts on the guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why? 21 steps: It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin return walk and why? 21 seconds for the same reason as number 1.

3. Why are his gloves wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if not, why not? He carries the riffle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to? For person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft, Joe Lewis (the boxer), Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty...


In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our U.S. Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm.

On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer.

"No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously 24/7 since 1930.

God Bless and keep them.

Thar ya has it then. If'n ya gets a chance, be sure'n visit Arlington Cemetery and take time to watch this really awesome sight of the guards and pay yer respects.

Fer the "Older Folk", I ran across some information fament'n a wish that the old paths were before us instead of behind us. It goes like this:

The Old Paths

I liked the old paths, when...

Moms were at home.

Dads were at work.

Brothers went into the army, and sisters got married

BEFORE having children!

Crime did not pay;

Hard work did;

And people knew

the difference.

Moms could cook;

Dads would work;

Children would behave.

Husbands were loving;

Wives were supportive;

And children were polite.

Women wore the jewelry;

And Men wore the pants.

Women looked like ladies;

Men looked like gentlemen;

And children looked decent.

People loved the truth,

And hated a lie.

They came to church to get IN,

Not to get OUT!

Hymns sounded Godly;

Sermons sounded helpful;

Rejoicing sounded normal;

And crying sounded sincere.

Cursing was wicked;

Drugs were for illness.

The flag was honored;

America was beautiful;

And God was welcome!

We read the Bible in public;

Prayed in school; And

preached from house to house.

To be called an American was worth dying for;

To be called an American was worth living for;

To be called a traitor was a shame!

I still like the old paths the best!

Thar ya has it then, there ain't no more fer this week's column. Have yourself a good rest of the week and where ever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n BE A GOOD ONE! Hope'n to see you'ns in church this weekend.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later,

In Neighborly Love,