Guards protect Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during Marine Week in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Rain or shine, honorary Honor Guards are protecting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Voinovich Park in Cleveland throughout Marine Week.

It's not just for showmanship. They are there to provide security from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day on the Ninth Street Pier.

The guards take one hour shifts marching back and forth along the red carpet, much like Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"It's a humbling experience to say the least. It can be tiring, hot and sweaty, but it makes you extremely proud," said LCpl. Matthew Taylor, of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, based in Buffalo, NY.

Normally, Taylor and his fellow Marines are out in the field practicing infantry tactics, so their Marine Week experience is a change of pace and quite a treat.

"Overall, Marine Week is incredibly important. It shows what we're all about," said Taylor.

He's grateful for the warm reception Cleveland has given the Marine Corps this week.

"There's been an impressive turnout. The crowds have been awesome and really supportive. I've gotten a million pats on the back."

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