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Tomb of the Unknowns Still Guarded During Hurricane Sandy

Photo of the “Old Guard” today at Arlington Cemetery. (Facebook.com/oldguard)

Despite the winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Sandy, Tomb Sentinels from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment’s “The Old Guard” are guarded the Tomb.

The Old Guard has guarded the tomb every minute of every day since April 6, 1948.

Photos of “The Old Guard” doing their duty in today’s hurricane are posted on their Facebook page.

A caption for one of the photos says Spc. Brett Hyde  lives by the Sentinel’s Creed which in part says “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.”

Arlington Cemetery was closed to the general public today, but the Old Guard continued with its normal duty of honoring the fallen at funeral services.

The Sentinels  execute precise steps before the Tomb that is the final resting place for unknown soldiers from World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb is a popular stop for Washington tourists.

According to the Society of The Old Guard’s website, Tomb Sentinels “are completely dedicated to their duty of guarding the Tomb. Because of that dedication, the weather does not bother them. In fact, they consider it an honor to stand their watch regardless of the weather. It gets cold, it gets hot – but the Sentinels never budge. And they never allow any feeling of cold or heat to be seen by anyone.”

The website for The Society says that despite their commitment, the welfare of the soldier is never put at risk: “The Tomb Guards have contingencies that are ready to be executed IF the weather conditions EVER place the Soldiers at risk of injury or death — such as lightning, high winds, etc. This ensures that Sentinels can maintain the Tomb Guard responsibilities while ensuring soldier safety. It is the responsibility of the Chain of Command from the Sergeant of the Guard to the Regimental Commander to ensure mission accomplishment and soldier welfare at all times.”

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