December 25, 1826, at West Point was not a typical Christmas morning. Cadets stumbled from their barracks, clothes torn or astrew. Many were barefoot, cursing, still drunk from the night before. Behind the cadets, West Point’s North Barracks stood in a state of near ruin. Windows had been smashed, along with the building’s furniture. Banisters had been ripped from stairways, thrown down with other rubble. Shards of shattered plates, dishes an cups lined the ground. Looking at the mix of hungover and drunk cadets, the officer of the day dismissed the corps. It had been a long night for everyone. There had been, after all, a riot–caused by egg nog.
Associated Press/Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.,/U.S. Army Photo – This handout photo provided by the us Army shows Spc. Brett Hyde, Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), keeping guard over the …more Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Just like the Sentinel’s Creed says “Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability.” (AP Photo/Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.,/U.S. Army Photo) less
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — In the face of Hurricane Sandy, the Army continued to guard the Tomb of the Unknowns on Monday but not with the familiar, choreographed 21 paces that the public typically sees.
A photo that went viral on social media of three soldiers from the Army’s Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, keeping watch over the tomb was actually taken during a September rainstorm. The Army became aware of the photo and said on its Twitter account and to media that it was from September.
The Army handed out a photo that was taken Monday morning before Arlington National Cemetery closed because of the storm. Afterward, when morning funerals were completed, the Old Guard soldiers were still on duty but had moved into an enclosure covered by a green awning known as “the box,” about 20 feet away from the tomb, according to regiment spokesman Maj. John Miller.
He said if the weather becomes intolerable, the tomb can also be guarded from a room inside a nearby amphitheater. But no such order was given on Monday afternoon.