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8/20/2014 - Mayor Yaede Places Wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery along with Hamilton WWII Veteran


Mayor Yaede Places Wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

in Arlington National Cemetery along with Hamilton WWII Veteran


Click Here to View the Video from the Wreath Laying Ceremony 


This past Friday, Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede and Hamilton World War II Veteran Col. (Ret) Frank Caprario – President of the Hamilton Township Patriotic Committee – placed a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider (also known as the Tomb of the Unknowns, although never officially named) in between the Changing of the Guard Ritual at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia.


“It was an honor and a very moving experience to place a memorial wreath on such hallowed grounds; and I was equally honored to place the wreath along with Hamilton World War II Veteran Col. (Ret) Frank Caprario,” said Mayor Kelly Yaede. “Our community and our nation owe a great debt of gratitude to all those who have worn the uniform in defense of our freedom, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.”


A contingency of Hamilton veterans and Township officials traveled to the cemetery thanks to the efforts of Mayor Yaede and the generosity of sponsors - the Sorce Company, Starr Tours and Fred & Pete’s Deli & Catering.  The memorial wreath used in the ceremony was generously donated by Petal Pushers, Inc. florists of Hamilton. 


Following the placement of the memorial wreath and a formal salute, a military bugler played “Taps” before the next changing of the guard.   


“If you have never witnessed this ceremony before, it truly is a moving experience that provides a great deal of gravity and an even greater respect for those who have given their lives for the freedom that we are fortunate to enjoy as Americans.  I just felt humbled and honored to lay this wreath on behalf of the citizens of Hamilton Township,” explained Mayor Yaede.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was established in 1921.  The Unknown Soldiers that were laid to rest at the Tomb – from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War – represent all missing and unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.  A tomb crypt also exists for the Vietnam War Unknown; however it has been determined that the crypt will remain vacant.  


The Tomb of the Unknowns is solemnly protected by Tomb Guards and has been guarded daily – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – since 1937.  Since 1948, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard"), which is the United States Army's official ceremonial unit, has maintained a 24-hour vigil at the Tomb.


While guarding the Tomb, soldiers (known as "Sentinels") take 21 steps – chosen for symbolizing the highest military honor: the 21-gun salute – then stop on the 21st step, changing their weapon to the outside shoulder, and begin another 21 step walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns.  The procedure is repeated until the guard is relieved.  The Changing of the Guard Ritual occurs every thirty minutes from April 1st to September 30th of each year and every hour from October 1st to March 31st.


“After inviting our local veterans to join us for the ceremony, I was contacted by one resident who explained that her brother-in-law – a former Hamilton resident who is now deceased – actually served as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It was just another touching part of this entire experience.  I told her that when I would eventually place the memorial wreath, I would be keeping his memory in mind in a very special way,” admitted Mayor Yaede.


Following the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, the contingency of veterans and officials traveled to the World War II Memorial, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The memorial, which is the only memorial of a 20th Century event on the National Mall’s central axis, opened in 2004 in honor of the 16 million who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II, as well as the more than 400,000 who lost their lives through the war and all of our nation’s citizens who supported the war effort from home.


“Some of the Hamilton veterans who were joining us on this trip were World War II Veterans, so we planned to stop at the National Mall on our route home to observe the World War II Memorial,” explained Mayor Yaede.  “It was just one small way to acknowledge the members of ‘the greatest generation’ of Americans who changed the course of history for – not only our country – but the entire world.   We can never fully or adequately repay the debt of gratitude that we owe to our nation’s World War II veterans.”