Waukesha High School
Class of 1955

Our High School is now the
"Les Paul Middle School".

On Jeopardy in November, 2019, the final question was: "How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknown?" All three missed it.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

There is a meticulous routine that the guard follows when watching over the graves. The tomb guard:

Marches 21 steps south down the 63-foot-long (19 m) black mat laid across the Tomb.
Turns and faces east, toward the Tomb, for 21 seconds.
Turns and faces north, changes weapon to outside shoulder, and waits 21 seconds.
Marches 21 steps down the mat.
Turns and faces east for 21 seconds.
Turns and faces south, changes weapon to outside shoulder, and waits 21 seconds.
Repeats the routine until the soldier is relieved of duty at the Changing of the Guard.

Why 21?
The significance of '21' reflects the twenty-one gun salute, the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

How often are the guards changed?
Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.' Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

They remain at their posts rain, snow or shine and extreme weather is not a concern. They remained at their posts during Hurricanes Isabel, Irene and Sandy as well as the 2010 blizzard, nicknamed "Snowmaggedon", that shut down the capital for days. Typically when it rains, Tomb Sentinels have the option of standing their watch under a green tent located to the side of the Tomb where they usually remain during wreath-laying ceremonies at the tomb. According to the Society of The Old Guard's website, Tomb Sentinels "are completely dedicated to their duty of guarding the Tomb. Because of that dedication, the weather does not bother them. In fact, they consider it an honor to stand their watch (we call it "walking the mat"), regardless of the weather. It gets cold, it gets hot - but the Sentinels never budge. And they never allow any feeling of cold or heat to be seen by anyone."


January, 2020

January starts a new year. It will be a while but Data Privacy Day is an international holiday that occurs every 28 January. The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. Ever hear of this? Me either.

January 1

. National Hangover Day
. National Bloody Mary Day (shouldn't this come before the previous item?)
. New Years Day
. National Thank God It's Monday Day - First Monday in January

Click "Photo Album" for one picture. Refers to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Check the solution to last month's PROBLEM. Click "Last Prob".

Check the birthdays. If you aren't there and should be, tell me.

Send info to George

2020 Waukesha High School Class of 1955