As the East Coast Grinds to a Halt Over Snow, These Soldiers Stand Guard Over America’s Fallen
By Josh Billinson, Independent Journal Review
For all Americans who have served their country or understand the sacrifice and dedication of those who have, Arlington National Cemetery is hallowed ground.
More than 400,000 American servicemen and women who laid down their lives for their country are interred at Arlington. They all share an unbreakable bond, as Arlington National Cemetery states:
“Service to country is the common thread that binds all who are remembered and honored at Arlington.”
Located adjacent to the Pentagon and across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, the rolling green hills dotted with thousands of white marble headstones stand as a stark reminder of the costs of the unique freedom and liberty that Americans across the country are able to enjoy.
Hundreds of thousands of marked graves honor American heroes from as far back as the Civil War, with headstones denoting the names of the fallen. Atop a hill overlooking all of Washington, D.C., the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands as an exception.
Erected after World War I, the white marble sarcophagus bears an immensely powerful twelve-word inscription:
“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God”
As the ultimate show of respect for the unknown Americans who have died in service, the tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — by sentinels from the United States Army’s elite 3rd Infantry Regiment. The 3rd Infantry Regiment is the Army’s oldest active-duty infantry unit, often referred to as “The Old Guard.”
Through vicious hurricanes and unrelenting blizzards, the Old Guard stands watch over their fallen comrades, no matter what. Tuesday’s snowstorm was no exception.
Snow was still falling early Tuesday morning at Arlington:
The site had been cleared of snow in the early morning hours, allowing anyone willing to brave the cold the opportunity to pay their respects:
Throughout the entirety of Winter Storm Stella, the tomb sentinels remained at their post:
In the bitter cold, the sentinels continued their work as if nothing was different:
Regularly scheduled wreath laying ceremonies took place:
Through even the worst weather, members of the Old Guard remained at their post to carry out their somber duty to America’s unknown fallen:
As one member of the Old Guard once said, “We give them our best because they gave their all.”