If you’ve ever visited Washington, DC, and its many historical monuments, you know that one of the most sobering is that of the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery. Here, “The Old Guard” watches over the tomb day and night – and as this sentinel proves – in all kinds of weather.
Recently, Arlington experienced some particularly nasty storms. Torrential rain and winds recorded up to 85 mph hammered the cemetery.
But during it all, this video was shot.
We couldn't be prouder of the @USArmyOldGuard Soldiers who watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Winds reached 60-85 mph in the DC region. This sentinel leans into it and continues marching.
— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) July 30, 2023
This member of the Army’s 3rd US Infantry Regiment, named “The Old Guard,” never wavered in his commitment to watching and guarding the tomb.
Twenty-one steps behind the tomb, pause for 21 seconds to face east, pause another 21 seconds to face north, then another 21 steps to retrace his steps. And then it starts all over again. This continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And as this video proves, in just about any weather conditions possible – rain, snow, sleet, hail, torrential winds – they just keep going.
Some might consider it to be a boring job, full of monotony and rather exhausting work. But it is a true honor for those who serve and who have served before. And all for someone they never met and who has never been identified.
If you know your history, you understand that the tomb was created in 1921 and made to house the remains of an unidentified soldier from World War I. But the guard itself didn’t begin until 1926 as a way to keep people from climbing or stepping on the tomb. Originally, this guard only kept watch during daylight.
That was extended to 24/7 in 1937.
And since then, someone from the Old Guard has marched and paused – 21 steps, 21 seconds, 21 seconds, another 21 steps back – day and night, no matter what.