To Provide a Military Guard
9 years ago
On March 2, 1926, Allen J. Furlow, a newly-elected Representative from Rochester, Minnesota, introduced what would become known as House Joint Resolution Number 185. The joint resolution called for ”a military guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington”. The Resolution was then sent to the Committee on Military Affairs. The result was a formal military guard posted at the Tomb on March 25, 1926. Although only posted during the hours of cemetery operation, this was a formal beginning to what eventually evolved into the Sentinels that are present at the Tomb to this day. It would be another 11 years before the guard was posted for 24 hours in order to maintain a constant vigil – one that has gone unbroken to the present day.
The picture that accompanies this article is truly remarkable. According to the Library of Congress this picture represents the first permanent guard at the Tomb. It remains an amazing part of the history of not only the Tomb, but also that of the Sentinels. It caused me a moment of reflection – perhaps this man is the first military guard posted. His name may be lost to history, but his mission will never be forgotten by those that came after him.
Written by Kevin Welker
Congressional Record: 69th Congress, 1st Session, Vol.67, Part 5 (Washington, DC: G.P.O), 4880.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress (Retrieved 18 March 2013).
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Did you know?
Is the rifle that the Sentinel carries loaded?
Tomb Guards carry fully functional M14 rifles. Given the current climate surrounding the relatively recent tragic events in Canada (attack upon the guard at the Canadian War Memorial), we will no longer be answering questions relating to specifics regarding current security and armament at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We appreciate your understanding.
Rest assured, that the US Army has the post secured as it has been since we started guard duty at the shrine in 1926.