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As violent storms ripped through the Washington Metro Area on Saturday evening, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier remained secure. The honorable sentinels at Arlington National Cemetery never broke stride.
Fueled by extreme heat, with temperatures up to 97 degrees in Washington D.C., thunderstorms swept through much of the region and brought wind gusts up to 60 to 85 miles per hour. More than 200,000 customers were without power in the DMV and damage was widespread across the area.
Wind damage (mainly downed trees) occurred all across northern Virginia, the District and Maryland. The fast-moving storms also unloaded up to an inch of rain over the course of just a few minutes.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier remained guarded.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a historic monument at Arlington National Cemetery. It is dedicated to deceased U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified and was unveiled on Nov. 11, 1921.
Every day since, at all hours of the day, their honor is protected by a group of tomb guards. It is considered one of the highest honors in the United States Army to serve as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Less than 20 percent of all volunteers are accepted for training. Only a fraction make it through training and become a full-fledged tomb guard.
To put it in perspective: my grandfather, a former Naval Captain who is buried in Arlington, once said that the tomb guards deserve greater accolades than he. Enough said.
The guards, and their role, is of the utmost distinction. Every move is meticulous and calculated.
The sentinels who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns must never leave their post. Even if the weather brings extreme heat, hail or snow.
The same goes for wind and rain, like on Saturday. It led to an extremely powerful moment.
Persons elsewhere in the region ran for cover. One noble guard leaned into the storm and marched on.