WHERE THE “OLD GUARD” WALKS - Dick Raymond''s July Poem


                      WHERE THE "OLD GUARD" WALKS
                     3d U.S. Infantry, Arlington Tomb Guards
             Their dedication to mission transcends duty into love."
                                           -- Sen. Tom Cotton, "Sacred Duty" *

                        By day, by night, the sentries march,
                        Twenty-one steps along the mat,
                        Then halt--a shift, Left shoulder, ARMS--
                        Resuming, with a smart spat-spat.
                        In every weather, come what might,
                        They pace their cold and lonely post,
                        Yet not alone—beside them glides
                        A vast, unseen and silent host.

                        Three hundred thousand here, so far,
                        (How many more, no man can say),
                        They come by singles, by platoons,
                        Arriving every night and day.
                        A lone Tomb represents them all,
                        Where watchful warders walk their beat—
                        Stern Duty sounds with every step,
                        Echoing from their faithful feet.

                        Selected from the tallest ranks,
                        Trained to the edge by sergeants hard,
                        Each soldier strives to meet the test,
                        To earn the honored badge "Tomb Guard."
                        And visitors, in wordless awe,
                        Behold each on-the-hour relief,
                        The click of heels, the stiff salutes,
                        Reflections of a nation's grief.


* Former Captain Tom Cotton, now junior Senator from Arkansas, has served in the 3d Infantry's Guard Company. His book is a best-seller.

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