Memorial Day Photo: Known But To God

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Editor, Photographer, Youtuber and our friend Guy Sagi sent us these moving photos he took at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery several years ago.  The tomb is guarded by US Army soldiers who do not wear rank insignia so that they do not outrank the Unknowns buried.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • jeffrey melton

    Memorial day 2015, remember those today who have given their lives for us.

    • ghost

      We have some catching up to do.

  • Paul

    I think it is sad that they march with unloaded firearms.

    • They do it for manual-of-arms reasons. Notice how if the magazine were inserted, he couldn’t hold the gun that way.

      • Paul

        You’re right. I don’t see why the stock was modified, though. More importantly, if the manual-of-arms requires that the stock be weakened and the gun not have a magazine, I think the manual-of-arms should be updated. Or just use a Springfield 1903, if they wish to be authentic.

        • Dan

          I think we can just leave the rifle as is, it’s ceremonial, it doesn’t need to be anything more than it is.

          • John

            Somehow I think they have close access to loaded magazines and modern rifles anyway.

          • Dan

            Exactly

  • Core

    God bless America and those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless those who continue to serve so selflessly.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Great photos. Looking forward to taking the kids there someday.

  • ghost

    So many died for what has become so little.

  • iksnilol

    Do they carry any ammo for those rifles? Or are the ceremonial rifles for show?

    • They are for show, but the bayonet is always loaded.

      • iksnilol

        Would be way more comfortable if they at least had a mag or two in their inner pockets.

        • The Guard Quarters downstairs probably contain some kind of ordnance (the rifles are functioning and cleaned everyday according to their website). But you need to understand that the cemetery itself is massive and sprawling (the massive field of white grave markers is visible from the plane as you fly in). It takes a long trek to reach the tomb from the entrance and there is ample security. The guard’s function is ceremonial, but if you are out of line they will make sure you know it.

          • KestrelBike

            At the Kremlin Tomb of the Unknown (Moscow, Russia), there was this one dumb*** who obliviously started stepping over the roped off area (with the sign saying “keep the hell out”) to get a better picture of his dumb friends. One of the guards slammed the butt of his SKS into the ground and gave the guy a stare that begged him to keep being dumb so he could destroy him. The transgressor promptly scurried away.

  • Ted

    The unknown soldier is not unknown:

    First Lieut. Michael J. Blassie USAF

    • John

      There are a number of unknown soldiers interred there, from WW1, WW2 and Korea.

      Blassie went home.

  • Having been there it is a very moving and holy sight. Hard to put to words really. There is this lingering aura of honor and unique emotion that I have not experienced elsewhere. It is not a sad sight despite being a resting place for our fallen, but a great reminder of the lives lost in service to the United States. It is a place that will draw out all of your humility and commands a level of respect that you did not know you were capable of delivering.

    • iksnilol

      Will have to visit one day. The white graves remind me of the graves in my homeland… for better or worse.

    • Dan

      The men who stand guard over the tomb deserve a heap of respect, all the work they put into ensuring their uniform is perfect and that they execute their movements perfectly shows how much respect they have for their fallen comrades. It is very apparent they are putting their all and believe so deeply in what they are doing. For some it might appear to be another ceremonial gesture, but to the men who stand guard it seems as though it is the only thing in their lives at that moment. It needs to be experienced in person. I have never felt so thankful in my life as I did visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

  • Armand Fight

    Very nice photos, thank you!

    Although I have to ask, does anyone else think the photographers watermark was too large and bordered on bad taste? Given the subject matter I am thinking the mark should have been about half that size, or not at all.

    • iksnilol

      Trust me, if you don’t have an obnoxious watermark sooner or later people will steal your photos and crop out the watermark.

  • L O

    If only more Americans really understood.. But then that would require some serious hardships on the masses, so they could relate. And thats why they fight.. and die.. so that generations after us can take a crack at prosperity and the American dream…Makes a person feel very fortunate and blessed to be an American, even with all our problems.

  • Fruitbat44

    Engraved on the Konimar memorial:

    “When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

    Rest in Peace, all those you died in defence of freedom.

  • ghost

    Courage is the knowledge of those that led before you.