Standing Their Posts — The Tomb of the Unknowns

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Photographer: Karin Markert)

The following statement is from the Facebook page of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) [please LIKE their Facebook page]:

“The Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier maintain their vigil even as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Eastern Seaboard. The Old Guard has guarded the tomb every minute of every day since April 6, 1948. Today will be no exception.”

In the past, the soldiers whose duty it is to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were granted a pass to stand down in severe storms. To my knowledge, they have never left their post. Hurricane Sandy is expected to be the worst storm to hit this area in our lifetimes. Thank you to Dan Marshall and Dave Anderson for this photograph posted to their Facebook pages.

Note: “Rachelle” left a comment on this post indicating the above photograph was not made during Hurricane Sandy. Based on research she sent, the photograph was made September 2012. I placed a call to Arlington Cemetery the afternoon of 10/29 and spoke to the media relations officer whom I asked whether the guards would remain at their duty stations during Hurricane Sandy. She replied by saying, “Yes sir, they stand guard now and they will remain at their posts the duration of the storm. They stand guard always, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in all weather conditions.” Thank you to Rachelle for her clarification. While the photograph was not taken during the current storm, it is representative of current conditions under which these men are presently serving at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Update 1: Please see discussion with Karin Markert in the Facebook and general comments section of this article. Karin is the photographer of this beautiful photograph above. I was informed she is also the wife of the Brigade Commander of The Old Guard.

Update 2: To view photographs of The Old Guard taken Monday, October 29 during Hurricane Sandy, see their Facebook album here.

American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

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About Victor Lundquist:

Victor is a businessman working in the healthcare industry. He and his wife of 33 years have five children and four grandchildren. Vic has been blogging for Mitt Romney since 2007.
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16 Responses to Standing Their Posts — The Tomb of the Unknowns

  1. Pingback: The Very Definition of Honor

  2. ccr says:

    This is humbling to me.

    It is troubling, though, to think of their C-in-C……..

    Oh, how we need to “replace” with a man of character and compassion

  3. David says:

    What they do at the tomb is merely symbolic, and possibly unwise at times. But the message sent is loud & clear!!! And THAT, Christina, is not foolish. It is unfortunate that the current CiC is so totally devoid of such honor. It is even more unfortunate that these courageous soldiers are required to follow his orders. Something I’m sure most of them detest, but do anyway–out of honor.

  4. Victor Lundquist says:

    David:

    I answered Christina in FB above to your points. The symbolism is very important to these men and to most Americans. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is largely symbolic itself. It is my understanding that these men are given the right to leave their post in times of such danger. The fact that they choose to not stand down in the face of risk is all the more compelling to the value of the symbolism.

  5. Tyler says:

    This is the true American Spirit – this is what it means to be an American. Thank you for the reminder to everyone who’s forgotten!

  6. Rachelle says:

    Too bad this isn’t correct… Please check your facts before posting and forwarding. http://www.buzzfeed.com/reyhan/viral-photos-that-arent-hurricane-sandy

  7. Patricia says:

    I ‘ve had my father, son and many of my family serve in the military, I am honored these men would feel the symbolism and connection to those who have passed. My father passed last year, and had a military funeral. I can say nothing was more appreciated by my family to see those come and show honor, respect and thanks to an old many who had served in WWII. Yes he is gone and many have passed at Arlington, but all the families who see those men “Choose” to Stay and not stand down, “We thank them, and honor them.” We know they are showing how much they love those who pass before them. THANKS TO YOU MEN AND WOMEN who serve and stand at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

  8. Victor Lundquist says:

    Rachelle:

    THANK YOU for your comment and clarification! I am most grateful. I added a note to the original post clearly indicating my error in the post. I called Arlington Cemetery to find out if the duty guards were given a leave of absence and had decided to leave. Had that been the case, I would have taken down this post.

    The media relations officer informed me that the guards will continue to stand guard at the Tomb and that is why I left the post up.

    Again, thank you for the clarification. I noticed you are a photographer and I appreciate the accuracy you reported. If you discover the name of the original photographer, please reply with her/his name and I will insert the name for credit. I could not find the name anywhere.

    Thanks again.

  9. judith nagle says:

    God Bless the U.S.A.

  10. AfricanforRomney says:

    Wow, regardless the timing of the photo,it looks to me a very misearble weather. I’m already feeling cold just looking at the pic. I’m very surprised to see they were standing, guarding it in a misearable weather, the day like that.

  11. Bill Foster NH says:

    It is a shame that many people are like Christina today and do not understand why these soldiers will not leave the Tomb……After all why would anyone risk their life for an idea….They just cannot understand it…..My thanks to all that have went before me with that knowlege….your sacrifice allowed me to serve which in turn allowed those serving today to protect the ideas that will keep my children free!

  12. Lisa Parmeter says:

    Karen Markert is the photographer, to whom you need to credit for this wonderful picture of the tomb guards. She is not only an accomplished photographer, she is also the wife of the Brigade Commander of the Old Guard.

  13. Victor Lundquist says:

    Lisa: THANK YOU very much for tracking down the name of the photographer. I updated the caption of the photograph to credit her. Much appreciated!

  14. Karin Markert says:

    The Old Guard PAO posted some photos from todayon their FB page: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151135181229576&id=743839575&set=a.10150310659209576.344369.743839575&__user=743839575#!/karin.markert?__user=743839575.

    I’ll be posting my photos tomorrow. It is an absolute honor getting to know these soldiers and their families.

  15. Bill Fortune says:

    Thanks Vic for the posting it reminded me that my nephew is one of those that stand that guard duty. Really proud of his service and its not an easy unit to get into. The caliber of their character stands way above that of their CiC.

  16. Jeff Fuller says:

    Notice the bayonets!!