To Be, Rather Than to Seem

Former Tomb Guard Speaks to 8th Grade

Sgt. Benjamin Bell visited the Academy 8th grade to talk about his time guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington National Cemetery. Bell served as a military policeman in the US Army from 1999-2004. As a member of the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, or Old Guard, Bell was able to train to become a tomb guard. In 2001, after nine months of training, he became the 494th soldier to receive the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge. The tedious selection process includes a precise uniform appearance, a complete knowledge of the history of the Arlington tomb and the ability to complete the ceremonial performance. Since the position’s inception in 1958, approximately 10 new guards have been added each year and more than 670 have served, including four women. The monument is dedicated to deceased U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified. Today, the tomb holds the remains of unknown soldiers from World Wars I and II and the Korean War. When the 8th grade travels to Washington, D.C., later this week, they will visit the tomb. Students Brody S., Bella O., Sean C. and Giuliana S. will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

Former Tomb Guard Speaks to 8th Grade

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