To Provide a Military Guard

8 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

Reference attribute:
Congressional Record: 69th Congress, 1st Session, Vol.67, Part 5 (Washington, DC: G.P.O), 4880.

Image attribute:
Courtesy of the Library of Congress (Retrieved 18 March 2013).

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