VIRGINIA

Old Guard stays at Tomb of Unknowns in superstorm

This handout photo provided by the us Army shows Spc. Brett Hyde, Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), keeping guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. AP Photo/Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.,/U.S. Army Photo)
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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Arlington National Cemetery has been closed to tourists because of Hurricane Sandy, but the Army continues to stand guard over the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The Army's Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, is responsible for guarding the tomb.

Regiment spokesman Maj. John Miller says when the cemetery closes, the guard continues.

But it's not the familiar, choreographed 21-pace guard that the public typically sees. Instead, soldiers in combat uniforms guard the tomb from a small enclosure covered by a green awning known as "the box," about 20 feet away.

A photo that went viral on social media of three soldiers from The Old Guard keeping watch over the tomb was actually taken during a September rainstorm. The Army became aware of the photo and said on its Twitter account and to media that it was from September.

The Army handed out a photo that was taken Monday morning before Arlington National Cemetery closed because of the storm. Afterward, when morning funerals were completed, the Old Guard soldiers were still on duty but had moved into "the box," according to regiment spokesman Maj. John Miller.

He said if the weather becomes intolerable, the tomb can also be guarded from a room inside a nearby amphitheater. But no such order was given on Monday afternoon.

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