The Old Guard continues to guard the Tomb while snow storm hits D.C.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Wilco, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sold...nknowns-arlington-historic-snowstorm/story?id

    "Since April 6, 1948, Tomb Sentinels from the Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment's "The Old Guard"have guarded the Tomb for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather."

    Just a reminder that The Old Guard never ceases its duty. I have been there a few times, including in a miserable downpour, and the respect never stops. Major snow storm hitting the East Coast but The Old Guard continues. In Marinesque form they even take perverse pride in the worst weather. Impressive.
     
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I need a crisp salute emoticon. Thank you for posting. Just came back in from shoveling front walk, and reading this set the bar for dealing with a little temporary misery.
     
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  3. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    The guards at Arlington are sharp! I love to watch them. It is neat to know that they are on duty regardless of the weather, time of day, etc.

    It is ceremonial, but a testament to the dedication of our armed forces. The guards are great ambassadors for our military.
     
  4. repatriot

    repatriot Member

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    Thanks for posting this. Outstanding and a testament to dedication, indeed.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Honestly, and this probably won't be popular, but I get annoyed every snow or heavy rains when these photos come out and people go on about the dedication.

    The Honor Guard is a nice assignment. Yes, they have to march back and forth for a set amount of time. They have a nice spot just yards from the Tomb, warmed and closed from prying eyes of outsiders. But you know what? They're not getting shot at. They're not flying in blizzards. They're not bouncing around in 30 ft. seas.

    You want a photo of dedication? Send something with someone actually doing operations.
     
  6. desiretoserve

    desiretoserve Member

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    Just because someone isn't in as much peril does not lessen the meaning of their service. They represent the devotion we show our fallen, and I very much disagree with your statement. The perpetual honoring of those who gave their lives is important. The principle of your post is disturbing to me because it implies that service to country is only worth something if ones life is in danger. The honor guards are just as worthy of our recognition.
     
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  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I understand why you disagree. But I also understand that there are folks bouncing around in the Bering Sea, who suffer far more that a mere fall if they have a problem.

    Of course, we make statements here all the time implying that some service is more important than others. In fact, these Tomb photos often show up this time a year as a meme, "while DC is closed, and federal employees are safely at home…. we stand the watch." That would imply that federal service is more important than other federal service. We would have that debate, sure.

    But yes, in my opinion, someone putting his/her life in danger is probably more worthy than someone who does not. I "sacrificed" more on a ship than I did sitting comfortably at my desk at USCG HQ in Washington, D.C. Someone getting shot at in Afghanistan "sacrificed" more than I did from my stateroom on a ship.

    We can pretend it's all equal…. but the reality is, it's not.

    And while I've taken that unpopular view, I do agree that honoring those who have died in service is very important. And I do think it's moving to see Arlington and, more so, to see families there remembering their lost loved ones….
     
  8. desiretoserve

    desiretoserve Member

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    Well said! I didn't mean to attack you in anyway, and I certainly see where you're coming from.
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    LITS, I had the same quiet admiration and professional respect for a CG boat out last weekend in frigid temps and nasty chop in the Chesapeake, doing a rescue/recovery op for foolhardy folks. They were doing their "everyday" duty of putting their lives at risk to perform their mission. They got some local TV coverage but not the haunting photograph in the Wa Post. Just know I think about all those quietly doing their duty around the world, some going in harm's way, some not. I think the symbolic element of the Old Guard is what gets the media attention.
     
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  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    True, and that the rest of the city is heading home to avoid snow! Haha…. which of course stands in contrast to not running home.
     
  11. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    You'll never see the media in the cold cutting wind of a foredeck to take a picture, its way too dangerous and uncomfortable. Thats for the other less seasoned cub reporter who needs to pay their dues.

    Push Hard, Press Forward

    Everyone gets a trophy.
     
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  12. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    You're right. It's not popular. No one ever said it was dangerous, but it puts a really honorable face on our servicemen. Men and women of all the services. No one thinks the Old Guard is actually expecting trouble, and their guns aren't loaded. They are a symbol that we will not forget. Even if you are a nameless victim, we will pay you honor and protect your memory.

    Much photographed, many a kid has looked up to them, and maybe they have inspired young people to a life of service. I like them!
     
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  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I don't dislike them. I'm not annoyed by them.

    In fact, they bailed me out in my first CG wreathlaying I MCed in 2008.
     
  14. Superior rocks

    Superior rocks Member

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    In today's world, there is no such thing as a safe duty station. Recall, the young Canadian soldier who sacrificed his life in 2014 while guarding Canada's National War Memorial.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/world/canada-shootings-victim/index.html

    On December 7, 2015, my father-in-law, a WWII vet, was laid to rest. It was a cold, windy day in Minnesota (okay, it was a typical December day in Minnesota). The soldiers performing the military funeral honors program stood in the cold for a good 30 minutes waiting for the priest to arrive at the grave site. They were professionals and their presence and the service they performed were appreciated by the family.

    For those who are not familiar with what it takes to become a Tomb Guard, it's a demanding process.

    https://tombguard.org/tomb-of-the-unknown-soldier/the-tomb-guard/

    From The Citadel FB page:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Um, sure there are safe duty stations. HAHAHA, ABSOLUTELY there are.

    We get distracted by bright lights and shiny objects. For all that the Guard represents, its easy to forget all of the issues Arlington has had with the other remains. If you've dealt with Arlington you'll find that it's not always as inspiring.

    But please, lets not begin to pretend that every duty station is dangerous. Most federal offices in D.C. are more dangerous than the Pentagon, or Ft. Belvoir, Ft. McNair, or Andrews AFB or Coast Guard HQ.
     

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