Despite Hurricane Sandy, vigil was maintained at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The United States Army handed out the above photo on Monday morning, October 29, 2012, in the face of Hurricane Sandy. The photo was taken before Arlington National Cemetery closed because of the storm. The U.S. Army’s 3rd. Infantry Regiment has kept continuous watch over the marker in Northern Virginia since 1948 without ever missing a second!
The marker memorializes an unknown World War I soldier who was laid to rest in 1921. Frequently, visitors overlooked the marker and stepped upon it or set up picnic blankets on top of it. The military eventually stationed a guard at the site. Soldiers who stand guard at the memorial undergo nine months of synchronized training and drill practice. It is an incredible honor to be stationed as a guard at the tomb.
A photo that went viral on social media of three soldiers from the Army’s Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, keeping watch over The Tomb of Unknown Soldier, was actually taken in a September rainstorm. The Army became aware of the photo, wanted to clarify the confusion via its Twitter account, and released the accurate photo.
Upon completion of the morning funerals, the Old Guard soldiers had moved into an awning enclosure, about 20 feet away from the tomb, known as “the box”. If the weather becomes intolerable, the tomb could also be guarded from a room inside a nearby amphitheater. Regimental representative, Major John Miller said, “There have always been eyes on the tomb.”