Soldiers stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C., despite the weather. (Karin Markert).
Pictures of the sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C., standing guard during an early rain band from Hurricane Sandy went viral online Monday — including one that was taken weeks before the storm.
The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment will continue its mission to guard the tomb throughout the storm in the same manner it does every day, as well as completing its other duties, regardless of how bad conditions get, according to its Facebook page
The regiment, known as The Old Guard, has maintained a 24-hour-a-day presence at the tomb since 1948. This is part of its mission as the U.S. Army’s official honor guard, which includes providing military ceremonies in Washington and as funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetary.
The picture of three tomb sentinels was first posted by the First Army Division East this morning and was shared more than 53,000 times, and picked up by dozens of media organizations, before photographer Karin Markert realized why her work was quickly spreading across the Internet.
“Apparently the picture has gone ‘viral,’ which is kind of shocking me today,” Markert said, according to The Poynter Institute. I’ve seen it a bunch of places, with credit given to a whole lot of other sources. That just doesn’t matter to me. What’s most important, and please remember this, is that no matter how the photo ended up on everyone’s computer, I am just so very proud of these soldiers and the mission that they fulfill every day.”
Although her profile on the social networking site is private, she said she was using the image as her “cover photo.” Markert posted 26 pictures she took at the tomb in the rain in September, including the one the First Army Division East posted this morning.
Markert’s picture is one of several that were not taken today that have been spread massively around the Internet as people share powerful images of what is predicted to be one of the worst storms in American history.
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