Donate to help disabled Vets. Visit DAV.org
A horrific plane crash on the night of July 17, 1996 killed all 230 people on board TWA Flight 800. Passengers had departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport less than 15 minutes earlier en route to Paris. The long-held “official” conclusion has been that a fuel tank explosion caused the crash.
An experienced pilot named Andrew Danzinger who flew Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign, says that’s not true in a recent article for the NY Daily News.
The bombshell article goes on to say the plane was likely shot down and that the FBI covered it up.
Was it a terrorist attack — a precursor to 9/11, as has been widely suggested — or a U.S. military training exercise gone wrong?
Click here to read more about what he knows about planes, the investigation, and eyewitness accounts.
Even a hurricane won’t keep the honor guard from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in VA this morning.
It is considered one of the highest honors to serve as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Fewer than 20 percent of all volunteers are accepted for training and of those only a fraction pass training to become full-fledged Tomb Guards. This attrition rate has made the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge the second least-awarded decoration of the United States Military (the first being the Army Astronaut Badge).
The soldier “walking the mat” does not wear rank insignia, so as not to outrank the Unknowns, whatever their ranks may have been. Non-commissioned officers (usually the Relief Commander and Assistant Relief Commanders), do wear insignia of their rank when changing the guard only. They have a separate uniform (without rank) that is worn when they actually guard the Unknowns or are “Posted”.
The duties of the sentinels are not purely ceremonial. The sentinels will confront people who cross the barriers at the tomb, or are disrespectful or loud.
Walking the mat:
There is a meticulous routine which the guard follows when watching over the graves:
This is repeated until the soldier is relieved of duty at the Changing of the Guard.
The mat is usually replaced twice per year: before Memorial Day and before Veterans Day. This is required because of the wear on the rubber mat by the special shoes worn by Tomb Guards. The sentinels have metal plates built into the soles and inner parts of their shoes to allow for a more rugged sole and to give the signature click of the heel during maneuvers. The sentinels wear sunglasses because of the bright reflection from the marble surrounding the Tomb and the Memorial Amphitheater.
On the ground not covered by the mat, a wear pattern in the tile can be seen that corresponds to the precise steps taken during the changing of the guard. On the mat itself, footprints worn in by standing guard are also visible.