Breaking News

A Sentinel of the 3rd Guard Lays Flag On the Tomb of the Unknown Despite Torrential Rains

Share this article


For 100 years, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has served as the heart of Arlington National Cemetery. As a sacred memorial site and the grave of three unknown American service members, the Tomb connects visitors with the legacy of the United States armed forces throughout the nation’s history. It stands as a people’s memorial that inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning. Since November 11, 1921, the Tomb has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members, and Unknowns from later wars were added in 1958 and 1984. 

Throughout 2021, Arlington National Cemetery is holding a series of commemorative events, exhibits and ceremonies that will culminate on November 11 in conjunction with the National Veterans Day Observance. We welcome you to join in the commemoration of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.



The public will have many opportunities to participate in commemorating the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – just as the public was involved in the 1921 ceremony.

On November 9 and 10, for the first time in nearly 100 years, the public will be able to walk onto the plaza and lay 

An Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Ceremony will honor the Unknowns and the centennial of the Tomb. This event is closed to the public due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols. The event will be livestreamed, with virtual viewing information to be published closer to the event.   
Time: Pending

Old Guard
23 May torrential rain and drastic wind gusts overcame America’s most hallowed grounds. Visitors ran for cover. News media piled into vehicles together. The streets flooded. Trees as old as the cemetery itself broke at the trunk and came crashing down. But America’s Regiment endured. They found low ground and held fast through the wind and the rain. Some had to be to ordered to stand down from planting flags, still determined to continue to honor the fallen.

During the storm, one of the most extraordinary displays of discipline and dedication to duty ever to be witnessed at Arlington National Cemetery was taking place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. With only a few watching from cover, a Tomb Sentinel approached the Unknowns with U.S. flags in hand. As thunder shook the ground and rains washed down without abandon, the Tomb Sentinel pierced through the elements with breath-taking precision. He knelt and placed the flags in honor of the Unknowns. For the select few who saw this moment, it was jaw-dropping. Humans have their limits, but The Old Guard has yet to meet theirs.

After the overwhelmingly positive response to our Flags In coverage, we feel an obligation to share this unfinished clip. It shows just how bad the conditions actually were at the plaza moments before the Tomb Sentinel placed the U.S. flags for the Unknowns. Watch it with sound to get the full effect.
America’s Regiment is committed to giving our utmost to those that gave their all.


Old guard

The 3d U.S. Infantry, traditionally known as “The Old Guard,” is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving our nation since 1784

The Old Guard is the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort to the president, and it also provides security for Washington, D.C., in time of national emergency or civil disturbance.

The unit received its unique name from Gen. Winfield Scott during a victory parade at Mexico City in 1847 following its valorous performance in the Mexican War. Fifty campaign streamers attest to the 3d Infantry’s long history of service, which spans from the Battle of Fallen Timbers to World War II and Vietnam.

Since World War II, The Old Guard has served as the official Army Honor Guard and escort to the President. In that capacity, 3d Infantry soldiers are responsible for conducting military ceremonies at the White House, the Pentagon, national memorials and elsewhere in the nation’s capital. In addition, soldiers of The Old Guard maintain a 24-hour vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns, provide military funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetery and participate in parades at Fort Myer and Fort Lesley J. McNair.

The black-and-tan “buff strap” worn on the left shoulder by each member of the 3d Infantry is a replica of the knapsack strap used by 19th-century predecessors of the unit to display its distinctive colors and distinguish its members from other Army units. The present buff strap continues to signify an Old Guard soldier’s pride in personal appearance and precision performance that has marked the unit for 200 years.

About Soldier of Fortune Magazine

Check Also

How to Survive a Bear Attack

Share this article Wildlife experts tell us that bear attacks against humans are rare. And …