Updated 5/31/12

Podcast #54 is a special Veterans Day podcast!  Veterans Day takes place on November 11th each year, and it is a time when we honor the soldiers who have fought and sometimes died to protect our freedoms as American citizens.  See the Arlington House where Robert E. Lee used to live, and find out why his property was turned into the Arlington National Cemetery; explore several war memorials in Washington D.C. including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; learn about the Tomb of the Unknowns; and witness a military burial. Come on, let’s go trekkin’!

It is one of the highest military honors to serve as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.  The process for becoming a guard is very difficult, and only a few soldiers pass the test. The badge that they receive is the least awarded badge currently given by the U.S. Military.  Since 1937, a continuous guard has stood watch at the tomb 24-hours a day 365 days a year.  They must stand watch during all types of weather including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and snow!  They did not even stop during the terrorist attacks at the nearby Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  The guard changes every half hour during the summer and every hour during the winter (and every two hours after the park closes).  Their uniform and gun require special care, and it can take almost 6 hours for them to get ready for guard duty!  Their job is to guard the tomb and make sure onlookers treat it with respect.  So be sure to stand quietly at the Tomb of the Unknowns or one of these guards may reprimand you! (Source)

SOL Correlation:


K.2 The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.


1.4 The student will develop map skills by d) locating Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, and Richmond, the capital of Virginia, on a United States map.


2.3 The student will identify and compare changes in community life over time in terms of buildings, jobs, transportation, and population.


3.11 The student will explain the importance of the basic principles that form the foundation of a republican form of government by c) recognizing that Veterans Day and Memorial Day honor people who have served to protect the country’s freedoms;


VS.2c The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, Rappahannock River, Lake Drummond, and the Dismal Swamp).


VS.7b The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia.


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