Hurricane Sandy Tomb of Unknowns viral photo not exactly the real deal

12:14 PM, Oct 29, 2012   |    comments
Courtesy: KL Markert Photography
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KSDK - A stunning photo making the rounds on social media and the internet appears to show members of our armed forces standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery while being drenched with heavy rains from the incoming Hurricane Sandy.

The picture seemed to catch fire after appearing on the First Army Division East's official Facebook page, where it received more than 50,000 shares in 3 hours.

National media outlets picked up on this seemingly incredible story of dedication and steadfastness in the face of Mother Nature's fury.

Unfortunately, the story behind the photo is not accurate.

The photos were taken September 18, 2012 during a downpour by KL Markert Photography.

The Tomb of the Unknowns is a white marble sarcophagus situated atop a hill overlooking Washington D.C., a monument dedicated to deceased American service members whose remains could not be identified.

Three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory and Valor are sculpted into the eastern panel facing the city. On the back of the tomb (the western panel) is inscribed the following: "Here rests in honored glory / an American soldier known but to God." The north and south panels feature three sculpted wreaths.

The sarcophagus itself rests above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. The crypts of unknown soldiers from World War II, Korea and Vietnam are marked with white marble slabs located steps in front of the western panel.

The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days week since July 1937. The sentinels of the tomb ("The Old Guard"), a platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, have very specific routines and ceremonies that must be honored while maintaining their constant vigil.

Previous hurricanes and other inclement weather events have yet to interrupt or prevent The Old Guard from maintaining its post.

Nearly 2 hours ago, The Old Guard confirmed this inaccuracy on its Twitter feed.


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