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New photos show Tomb of the Unknown Soldier guards in rare blizzard

3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) soldier during a snowstorm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Jan. 3, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)
January 05, 2022

U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment soldiers have the special duty of keeping constant guard over the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and they did not shirk that task even in the face of a rare blizzard this week.

Arlington saw about six-and-a-half inches of snow and other parts of the D.C. area saw up to 10 inches of snow on Monday — the largest snowstorm in the area since 2016, NBC Washington reported. The storm also caused power outages and left some motorists stranded on the roadways for hours.

3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) soldier during a snowstorm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Jan. 3, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

The 3rd Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, is the only unit to hold the honor and duty of keeping watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Old Guard has maintained an uninterrupted watch over the monument for more than 84 years, and as the first snowfall of 2022 came for the Washington D.C. area on Monday, it served to highlight the unit’s dedication to its duty.

3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) soldier during a snowstorm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Jan. 3, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

On Monday, Arlington National Cemetery tweeted, “Today was the first snowfall of the year at Arlington National Cemetery,” with pictures of the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier’s sentinel as well as snowfall throughout the cemetery.

The Tomb of the Unkown Soldier is a monument to all deceased U.S. service members who remain unidentified.

The Unknown Soldier, an unidentified U.S. serviceman who fought and died in World War I was returned to the U.S. from France and interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1921.

3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) soldier during a snowstorm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Jan. 3, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

The official Twitter account for the U.S. Army’s military district of Washington (MDW) tweeted, “Winter has arrived in the National Capital Region! The @USArmyOldGuard stands guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,@ArlingtonNatl, during the first snow of the season. Exercise caution if traveling and continue to monitor local updates for alerts and closures.”

“The Winter Soldier The first snowfall of 2022 can’t slow down the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photo by Elizabeth Fraser,” the U.S. Army tweeted.

In November, Arlington National Cemetery commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 1921 dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) soldier during a snowstorm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Jan. 3, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)