McKINNEY, TEXAS: Members of the John Abston Chapter, NSDAR welcomed Greg Hooper, Tomb Guard Badge #361, to a commemoration of the centennial celebration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Thursday, Nov. 18, at Spring Creek Barbeque.  

 

On Nov. 11, 1921, the body of an unidentified soldier was laid to rest in the east plaza of the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was established to provide a place for Americans to pay homage to those who gave all—their life and their identity. Until that time, there had been no place for Americans to unite in their mourning or express their appreciation.

 

An Evening with the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was hosted by McKinney’s Daughters of the American Revolution chapter to provide an opportunity for community members to reflect on what the Tomb represents and hear directly from one who has guarded the Tomb. Hooper guarded the tomb from 1989 to 1991 while serving in The Old Guard, which is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army dating back to 1784. Sharing the history of the Tomb, the process of the changing of the guard and the reverence behind it all, Hooper gave an insider’s glimpse at what it takes to serve as a Tomb Guard and, most importantly, what it means.

 

“The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a powerful symbol of the continuum of selfless sacrifice and service that stretches forward to us from the very founding of our national identity,” said Denise Doring VanBuren, President General, NSDAR via a shared video. “At Arlington, at the Tomb, we pause. And, we express our gratitude and respect. The silent sentinels, committed to a higher standard of perfection and responding to a unique and reverent call to serve, guard more than physical remains. They stand watch over the soul of our citizen soldiers. Their 21 steps echoing down through the centuries reminding us of what it means to step forward to defend our American way of life, our liberties and our national values. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a sacred reminder of a solemn obligation that we share: To respect and honor those who gave their lives in order that we might live our lives in peace and the pursuit of happiness.”

 

Known by each Tomb Guard, The Sentinel’s Creed describes the unique call of duty as “… I walk my tour in humble reverence / to the best of my ability. / It is he who commands the respect I protect, / his bravery that made us so proud …”

 

“As we reflect on the sacrifice and service that the Tomb of the Unknown Solider represents, it is important to act on our gratitude,” said John Abston Chapter Regent Gretchen Adams, “The Tomb is not just about a singular servicemember or event. Those three soldiers represent thousands of unknowns that fought for our freedoms. Americans should be inspired by the supreme sacrifice and strive to live a life of service.”

 

This event, organized by the chapter’s First Vice Regent Lee Ann Slavik Erder, attracted members of the McKinney community and garnered area and state officers from the DAR and Sons of the American Revolution.

 

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a women’s service organization whose members can trace their lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War. Today’s DAR is dynamic and diverse, with over 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters in the United States and abroad. DAR members annually provide millions of hours of volunteer service to their local communities across the country and world. DAR chapters participate in projects to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Over one million members have joined the organization since its founding in 1890. The John Abston Chapter, NSDAR has served the McKinney and surrounding communities since 1975. Chapter members are active in historic preservation, education and patriotism. Some activities include Wreaths Across America, Honor Flight DFW Welcome Home events, restoring Texas Historical Markers and placing military markers at veteran graves whose headstones do not identify their service. 

 

If you are interested in learning more about DAR membership, visit www.texasdar.org/chapters/JohnAbston/ or contact johnabstonnsdar@gmail.com.

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The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to preserve the memory and spirit of those who contributed to securing American independence. For more than 130 years, the DAR has strived to bring awareness to the honorable sacrifices and enduring legacy of all patriots who fought for America’s freedom. Through the DAR Genealogical Research System (www.dar.org/GRS), the public can access a free database of information amassed by the DAR about these patriots. DAR is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization with more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. DAR members passionately carry out the timeless mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.dar.org.