In measured steps he makes his rounds
the click of heals the only sounds
He stands erect so straight and tall
with pride and dedication responds to the call...
That was a few lines from The Vigil, a poem we commit to memory as a Sentinel of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
I have the honor of being part of this very small, very elite group. I am badge number 408. So today, as I continued to hear about people making preparations to evacuate or board up their homes for the impending doom of Hurricane Irene, my thoughts went to Arlington National Cemetery. Between sections 7A, 48 and the Memorial Amphitheater. There is a white marble plaza that holds one of the most sacred places in the United States.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Right now, as you read this, there is a US Army soldier standing guard. Regardless of the elements. Regardless of the dangers. He is there. Standing vigilant. And he won't leave until properly relieved.
Keep the Sentinel in your thoughts and prayers. Along with all of our service members. They embody what it means to sacrifice personal freedoms and personal comforts for an ideal that has been fought for, that many have died for and many more have bled for.
*I copied this picture without permission. I do not know who took this photo. If anyone knows I would like to credit them, then ask for belated permission.