A Special Change
Would you be excited to see a history maker?
2 "You must mean the weather," Ben teased. Ling was always looking at the sky when the outdoor parts of the show were being taped.
3 Ling playfully tugged the brim of Ben's cap over his eyes. "You know what I mean," Ling said. "The White House tour was great and now we get to tape a history maker. The first female honor guard will take part in today's Changing of the Guard."
4 The tour bus came to a stop and Ben, Kate, their father, and Ling walked to the steps facing the Tomb of the Unknowns. The film crew followed.
5 Mr. Wilkins whispered to Kate, "No one knows the names of the soldiers buried in the tomb. It is guarded day and night to honor all Unknown United States soldiers who died in battle."
6 The all watched the pacing guard walking back and forth in front of the tomb. He walked the same number of steps in each direction. The guard turned at exactly the same place every time. He tapped his heels together with each turn.
7 The crowd stood as the Changing of the Guard was announced. An officer appeared. He inspected the uniform and rifle of the new guard. With a loud tap of her heels, Sergeant Heather Lynn Johnson began pacing in the same way as the first guard. The officer and the first guard then marched away. The ceremony had ended. The guards hadn't spoken a word.
8 "How did she get to be a part of the honor guard?" Kate rushed to ask Ling.
9 "The same way as any of the soldiers who guard the Unknowns," Ling said. "She went through the same training that all the honor guards did. I read that she received a perfect score on her exam."
10 "Training and exams?" Ben said. "What does an honor guard need to be able to do?"
11 Ling replied, "Besides being able to march, the guard members must know the cemetery history. They must be able to give the exact location of nearly two hundred burial plots."
12 "Working on my questions for the show is enough for me," Ben joked, "I'd better start thinking about tomorrow's taping at the Washington Monument."