Hurricane Sandy may or may not end up being the ‘storm of the century’ but that doesn’t negate the fact that our country has some truly special people in the armed forces. Despite worsening weather conditions the 3rd US Infantry Regimen (aka ‘The Old Guard’) continues to stand watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected following World War I to honor the memory of unidentified US Soldiers killed during war. It has been continually guarded by members of the Honor Guard of the 3rd Infantry since 1948. They’re committed to staying at their post no matter how bad the elements get as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast.
The photo accompanying this article pictures Specialist Brett Hyde, Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, guarding the tomb earlier today. The Guard does have contingency plans in the event weather conditions take a turn for the worse. If it becomes impossible to maintain vigil in a conventional manner guardsmen will don camouflage and guard the tomb from a protected location.
Service in the ‘Old Guard’ is considered one of the great honors in the US Military. It has escorted presidents since World War II and provides military funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetery. The unit also provides security for Washington national emergencies. These are the men that President Obama was disrespecting in a widely circulated viral image showing the Commander In Chief too busy talking on a cellphone to pay respect to the men charged with keeping him safe.
Arlington Cemetery was closed due inclement weather today though a few funerals were held. The Tomb Sentinel’s creed is as follows:
“Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability.”
The ‘best of their ability’ is pretty damn good. We wish them safety during the foul weather and wherever their duties may take them. Hopefully the storm turns out to be more of a product of hype and far less severe than the more hysterical projections are suggesting.