A soldier placed down his flag during a Memorial Day event during a storm, which a U.S. Army regiment described as a “jaw-dropping” display of discipline.
The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, shared photos of the flags during the event.
The soldier was seen placing down American flags as winds howled and torrential rain fell in Arlington, Virginia. That same storm system produced tornadoes in Southern and Midwestern United States before it hit the East Coast.
“Yesterday, torrential rain and drastic wind gusts overcame America’s most hallowed grounds. Visitors ran for cover. News media piled into vehicles together. The streets flooded. Trees as old as the cemetery itself broke at the trunk and came crashing down. But America’s Regiment endured. They found low ground and held fast through the wind and the rain. Some had to be to ordered to stand down from planting flags, still determined to continue to honor the fallen,” the regiment wrote on its Facebook page.
In the storm, the unnamed soldier showed a great degree of forbearance, the regiment noted.
“During the storm, one of the most extraordinary displays of discipline and dedication to duty ever to be witnessed at Arlington National Cemetery was taking place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” the post read.
Only a few people were watching, but the soldier, known as the Tomb Sentinel, approached the unknown soldiers with flags in his hands.
“As thunder shook the ground and rains washed down without abandon, the Tomb Sentinel pierced through the elements with breath-taking precision. He knelt and placed the flags in honor of the Unknowns. For the select few who saw this moment, it was jaw-dropping. Humans have their limits, but The Old Guard has yet to meet theirs,” the post read.
The photos have since gone viral, amassing more than 227,000 shares on Facebook and thousands of comments praising his actions.
A video was also posted by the regiment.
“After the overwhelmingly positive response to our Flags In coverage, we feel an obligation to share this unfinished clip. It shows just how bad the conditions actually were at the plaza moments before the Tomb Sentinel placed the U.S. flags for the Unknowns. Watch it with sound to get the full effect,” it wrote on Facebook. “America’s Regiment is committed to giving our utmost to those that gave their all.”
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or Tomb of the Unknowns, is a monument for deceased American service members who whose remains haven’t been identified.
The U.S. Unknowns, as they are called, who were interred also posthumously received the Medal of Honor. U.S. Presidents have presided over their funerals.
According to the tomb’s website, “On Memorial Day, 1921, four unknowns were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decorated for valor and received the Distinguished Service Medal in ‘The Great War, the war to end all wars,’ selected the Unknown Soldier of World War I from four identical caskets at the city hall in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, Oct. 24, 1921. Sgt. Younger selected the unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets. He chose the third casket from the left.
It added: “The chosen unknown soldier was transported to the United States aboard the USS Olympia. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France.”