2016 Youth On Guard: Changing of the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Reenactment, Broken Arrow, Saturday, 28. May 2016

“Sacrifice, suffering, and grief are synonymous with war. A nation of families, friends and citizens, mourning the loss of their loved ones, need closure in order to start their grieving process. They need a place that represents this loss and celebrates the sacrifice that protect the liberties of free nations.” – Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Civil Air Patrol, Starbase Composite Squadron re-enacts the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington National Cemetery. The re-enactment occurs over Memorial Day weekend, at Floral Haven Cemetery in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, every year for 54 hours straight. Our purpose is as follows.

- To never forget:
An unknown soldier is one who has given everything in service to their country, including their name. A soldier never dies until they are forgotten. We will never forget.

- To provide a place to grieve:
There are those in this area who cannot, or will never be able to make a trip out to Arlington National Cemetery in their lifetime. We provide a way for them to join us to remember and attain some closure.

- To join in remembrance:
There are veterans who have stories that they will never tell. To stand guard over the unknowns is to also stand guard over the deeds and acts of bravery which are also unknown.

- To raise a generation of youth with a mindset of honor:
The sixth line of the sentinel’s creed reads, “My standard will remain perfection.” The youth who train to serve on the guard learn, through striving for perfection, about duty, honor, and respect. This shapes each one to be an individual whose character and actions are fashioned to reflect the honor that the unknowns deserve.

This reenactment was begun in 1995 and has been passed on through the cadet program as each set of cadets have cycled up through the ranks. Training begins with a hand selected team of 12 cadets in mid-January and continues two times a week until Memorial Day 4 months later. The training has a series of evaluations which take into consideration the perfection and precision of the ceremony, strict physical fitness standards, memorization of the sentinel’s creed, and knowledge of the Tomb of the Unknowns.
As the creed states, “This soldier will, in honored glory rest, under my (our) eternal vigilance.”

The weekend’s events are supported by the squadron's adult senior members, as well as the squadron's Cadet Flag Patrol. Flag Patrol Cadets will patrol and maintain the grounds of Floral Haven while inspecting and correcting over 3,800 flags throughout the weekend, careful to treat them with the honor and dignity befitting those who have gone before.

The event is open to the public.

10AM, Saturday – Opening Ceremony with keynote speaker Congressman Jim Bridenstine with other city and state delegates in attendance.

1PM, Saturday – The First Guard is placed and then the Changing of the Guard will begin every half hour during daylight and every hour at night.

5pm, Monday – The Closing Ceremony begins and the Garrison Flag is retired.

Saturday, 28. May 2016, Broken Arrow, 2016 Youth On Guard: Changing of the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Reenactment

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