Memorial Day is a day we set aside to remember those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our freedoms. If you’ve ever been to Arlington National Cemetery, you know that this remembrance happens 24/7/365 at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The tomb was built in 1921 to remember soldiers from World War I whose remains were never identified, and was ultimately expanded to include all unknowns. It is a place of solemn reverence.
The tomb is guarded by soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, called ‘The Old Guard’, dressed in ceremonial uniform. One of the soldiers walks along the black mat in front of the tomb. They Soldier does not display any insignia to show rank. This is out of respect, so that they do not outrank the dead soldiers.
Soldiers guard the tomb 24 hours a day, even on those rare occasions when it is closed to the public. The Old Guard is out there every day, in every kind of weather. The tomb is visited by millions of tourists every year, and the vast majority of them behave in the dignified manner befitting the unknowns.
Every once in a while, however, people forget their manners. In those cases, this happens:
Don’t mess with the Old Guard.