Kent Swig

My Thoughts.

A very emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery

Kent Swig at the amphitheater at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Kent Swig at the amphitheater at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On June 9, 2014, the Israel Bonds Leadership Conference participants visited  Arlington National Cemetery after departing from briefings and a tour of the Pentagon. At Arlington, we had a private tour of the Museum building and then viewed the “changing of the guard” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I was given the extreme honor of laying a wreath just after the changing of the guard ceremony.

Kent Swig laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Kent Swig laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

As this honor is predominately reserved for Heads of State, I was overwhelmed at being selected to participate. To commence the ceremony, we walked down the stairs from the Museum to where the honor guard was waiting. From there, we presented the Israel Bonds wreath to the guard and together, laid the wreath at the Tomb.

Then, the honor guards played “taps” while we stood with our right hands placed over our hearts (the soldiers stood at attention and saluted).

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while Taps was played

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while Taps was played

In front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then turned around, and walked back up the stairs to the Museum as the honor guard escorted us up.

Also escorting us was Lt. General Michael S. Linnington, U.S. Army, who turned to me and thanked me. When I asked why he was thanking me, he responded that during his 34 year career in the military, (and even being posted with President Obama), he never had the honor and privilege to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier until this day. And, he continued to tell me, that this was among the great honors in which he was able to participate. I was overwhelmed by the General’s graciousness and openness.

Needless to say, the entire ceremony was deeply emotional and it was very difficult not to openly shed tears. This was a day that I will certainly never forget and ranks among my most proud moments.

At Arlington National Cemetery from left to right: Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery Jack Lechner; Richard Hirsch, Chairman of Israel Bonds; Kent Swig; Operations Officer of Arlington National Cemetery Dave Kemmen

At Arlington National Cemetery from left to right: Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery Jack Lechner; Richard Hirsch, Chairman of Israel Bonds; Kent Swig; Operations Officer of Arlington National Cemetery Dave Kemmen

After laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

After laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The stage at the Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery

The stage at the Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by swigeq

June 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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