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News: Guard's NASCAR drivers lay wreath at Tomb of Unknowns

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Guard's NASCAR drivers lay wreath at Tomb of Unknowns Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy

NASCAR Drivers Jeff Gordon, left, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., right, accompanied by Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, pay their respects as Taps is played after they placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, Sept. 24. For Gordon and Earnhardt, who drive the National Guard-sponsored car, and Hendrick, it was an opportunity to honor those who are currently serving in the military.

ARLINGTON, Va. — NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns here at Arlington National Cemetery as a way to pay tribute to those currently serving in the military.

Gordon and Earnhardt, who both drive a National Guard-sponsored car, said it was a tremendous honor to take in the ceremony.

"I was honored to pay tribute to all those currently serving our country and all those who have been lost in the past," said Gordon after the event. "It makes you very proud to be an American."

For Earnhardt, who has driven for the Guard since 2007, it was especially significant.

"Having worked with the Guard and the military for several years, I had a good sense of all of this and what the importance was...," he said. "I knew I would be overwhelmed at the experience."

But for Hendrick, the opportunity gave him time to reflect on his father's service during World War II.

"I was thinking about my dad who was shot down three times in World War II and all of my relatives that have been in the service, some of them gave their lives, and just to be able to be here representing our family, it's such a [significant] place."

Hendrick said that's another reason he is proud to have the Guard as a sponsor.

"It's so patriotic carrying the colors of the Guard," he said.

Earnhardt and Gordon are set to race this Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Guard's NASCAR drivers lay wreath at Tomb of Unknowns, by SFC Jon Soucy, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:09.25.2009

Date Posted:09.25.2009 09:16

Location:ARLINGTON, VA, USGlobe

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