Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 13 News List

Saluting 行軍禮

Soldiers in the Philippines salute during a ceremony.
菲律賓軍人在慶典中行軍禮。 (照片:歐新社)

PHOTO : EPA

Have you ever wondered why people in the military salute? Nobody knows for sure, but there are a few interesting theories.

One theory is that a long time ago in Rome, soldiers were supposed to pretend that bright light came out of the eyes of their superiors. Soldiers saluted to pretend that they needed to protect their eyes from the bright light.

Another theory is that when soldiers wore metal masks, they would lift their mask up to see if another soldier was a friend or enemy. Over time, this turned into saluting.

The most popular theory is that soldiers used to take off their hat when they met their superiors. But because soldiers often wore heavy helmets, it was tiring to have to keep taking them on and off. So instead, they just touched their head with their hand as if they were about to take their helmet off.

Which theory do you think is right? (Marc Langer, staff writer)

你曾經想過軍人為什麼要敬禮嗎?沒有人百分之百說得準,但有幾種有趣的說法。

其中一種說法是,古時候的羅馬士兵應假裝長官的眼裡發出耀眼的光芒。士兵行軍禮,裝作是為了保護眼睛而阻擋光芒。

另一種說法是,軍人戴著金屬面罩時,要將面罩拉高來看他人是隊友還是敵軍,遂逐漸演變成敬禮。

最受歡迎的說法是以前軍人遇到長官時,經常要將帽子脫下來。然而,由於軍人時常戴著沉重的頭盔,把頭盔不斷戴上戴下很累人。因此,他們只用手碰碰頭,作勢要將頭盔取下來。

你認為哪一種說法是對的呢? (翻譯:賴美君)

Quick Quiz 複習測驗

1. In Rome, soldiers used to pretend ...

a. their helmets were really heavy.

b. they wore metal masks.

c. their superiors' eyes were really bright.

d. to take off their hats.

2. Soldiers used to lift up their metal masks ...

a. to see who other soldiers were.

b. to let the bright sun shine on their faces.

c. because their helmets were so heavy.

d. when they met their superiors.


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