18 April 2010

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Athens, Greece

I have been fortunate in that I've been able to visit 2 Unknown Soldier tombs: one in Arlington, Virginia and one in Athens, Greece. They are alike in their beauty and the quiet way people honor the fallen that are represented within the tomb. Throughout history, many soldiers have died in wars without their remains being identified so nations developed this way of honoring them.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens is located at the Parliament Building at the head of Syntagma Square (the beginning point of many of the attractions of Athens). Originally the Parliament Building was to have been built at the top of the Acropolis. Construction of the building was finished in the early 1840's.

Every hour, every day, guards perform the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Greece changing of the guard. They wear uniforms with pom-poms on the toes of their shoes and skirts with stockings. The guards have summer and winter uniforms. On Sundays and for special celebrations, the uniform is more formal.

To see the changing of the guard in another country honoring their fallen, unidentified soldiers really brings it home that loss is a universal bond.