How a 30 Year-Old Photo Of a Soldier Standing In The Snow Lit Up the Internet

Even as relentless snow or pouring rain falls upon Washington D.C., the men who guard the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier never stop keeping watch.

Journalist Raymond Arroyo recently tweeted a photo of Charles Gauldin (Tomb Badge #248), who guarded the tomb during the early 1980s, covered head to toe in snow, and it exploded across social media:

Some used the tweet to make unfavorable comparisons to those on Capitol Hill:

Others simply admired his resilience and sense of duty:

What’s remarkable about this photo is that it isn’t unprecedented, it’s the norm. A tweet from this past January shows another Guard in the same position, always on watch:

The Sentinel’s Creed (memorized by these men) sums up their unwavering duty perfectly:

“My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
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.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.”

According to

“The 99 words of the creed capture the true meaning of their duty. You will often hear the words ‘Line-6′ proudly uttered by Tomb Guards as they converse with each other or with their chain of command.”

There is such power in what these Guards do that even a 30 year-old photograph can engage thousands of people to retweet, comment, and show their appreciation for our men, and women in uniform.


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