Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Despite Hurricane Sandy

via PHOTO: Despite Sandy, Soldiers Stand Guard At Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier : The Two-Way : NPR:

According to the First Army Division East, which posted the picture today on its Facebook page, the three soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment stood guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as the first heavy bands of rain from Hurricane Sandy moved across the Washington, D.C. area.

"The tomb," they write, "has been guarded continuously since 1948." 

These are some really touching photos. 

I was curious about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier tradition, and then read this cool tidbit on the U.S. Army's website:

While on duty the sentinel crosses a 63-foot rubber surfaced walkway in exactly 21 steps. He then faces the Tomb for 21 seconds, turns again, and pauses an additional 21 seconds before retracing his steps. The 21 is symbolic of the highest salute accorded to dignitaries in military and state ceremonies.

As a gesture against intrusion on their post, the sentinel always bears his weapon away from the Tomb.