Hurricane Irene fails to flush Old Guard from Tomb of the Unknowns

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Hurricane Irene’s trajectory prompted a scramble for higher ground this weekend, either by choice or mandatory evacuation. But one brave group rode out the storm outdoors.

The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment — known as “The Old Guard” — continued its mission of guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia throughout the hurricane.

The regiment’s Facebook page shows a lone soldier pacing against wind and rain during the hurricane.

According to the website of the Society of the Honor Guard–Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, members of the unit have guarded the tomb for every minute since 1937.

However, The Old Guard points out that members are not forced into harm’s way in the event of severe weather. Contingency plans are made to prevent injury or death.

Ahead of the storm, winds were expected to be between 35 and 40 miles per hour in the Washington, D.C. area, with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour.