Incorrectly Captioned “Hurricane Sandy” Photo of Soldiers Goes Viral

A few hours ago, the official Facebook page of the First Army Division East posted the above photograph with the caption:

Soldiers of the 3rd Inf Reg continue to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, despite the worsening weather conditions surrounding Hurricane Sandy. The tomb has been guarded continuously since 1948.

The powerful photograph instantly attracted tens of thousands of Likes and Shares, and began going viral online.

News publications began picking up on the story and sharing it as part of their Hurricane Sandy coverage — sites like CNN, NPR, and FOX.

Unfortunately for those who pounced on the story, that’s not Hurricane Sandy seen in the photo. The image was actually captured last month by photographer K.L. Market during rather ordinary bad weather. The original FB photo’s description has been updated to read, “despite adverse weather conditions.”

Regardless of which storm it actually shows, it’s still a beautiful and noteworthy photograph showing the dedication of those guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

A military guard was first posted on March 25, 1926. The first 24-hour guard was posted on midnight, July 2, 1937. The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since that time. Inclement weather, terrorist attacks, et cetera, do not cause the watch to cease. [#]

Indeed, there are guards still attending the tomb at this very moment, even as Sandy bears down on the East Coast.

Update: You can find some photos of the Sentinels maintaining their vigil today in this Facebook album.

Image credit: Photograph by K.L. Market/U.S. Army

  • Sol_Invictus

    There’s a point where inspiring situations become untenable. There’s no sense in putting peoples lives at risk. The weather is monitored and the safety of the sentinels is given a priority.

  • Martin J


  • Erasmo Garcia

    Such stupidity…

  • russianbox


  • djdoritos

    You are not a soldier therefore will never know the true honor of guarding the tomb. The soldiers that died gave their lives for this country, a little rain and wind is nothing to protect the tomb of their fallen brother’s and sister’s.

  • catfish252

    Regardless of when that photo was taken, you can bet the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers will be vigilantly standing guard tonight and every night. We are proud of each one of you.

  • Sol_Invictus

    You obviously didn’t read my comment.

  • Poynter

    We spoke with Karin Markert, who took that photo in mid-September: Her husband is the regimental commander of the Old Guard, which protects the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Being a military spouse is wonderful,” Markert says. “I need an outlet, and photography is it.”

  • MustBeSaid

    Protect it from what exactly? Are there roving gangs of body snatchers in DC going around and breaking open tombs? Are they worried he’ll come alive like a zombie?

    At least this solider gave his life to protect this country. Not like the soldiers of the last 5 major wars who were just fighting to pump money into defense contractor pockets and protect oil interests.

  • rash rashington

    why are we wasting money and resources guarding a tomb, absolutely retarded and wasteful.

  • Syd

    Wow you’re really rude man. So a soldiers service to serve his country is not authentic if they don’t die? Contractors are pocketing a lot of money. Soldiers are not. Do you think soldiers want to get paid less money for doing more or less harder work and stressful work organization?

  • gibu

    so this is about money…

  • Honor Guardsmen

    I served in the US Navy Ceremonial Guard, The Navy counterpart of the Old Guard seen here. I have buried many sailors in this cemetery and completely understand what these men are doing. We have fired on funerals in storms like this, why? because its our duty. These men and women died with honor and you bet your ass we will commit to guarding and burying them with honor. ANYONE who says why, jump off a bridge. clearly you are not military nor have any commitment to your fallen heroes.

  • Scott

    No one gets left behind is a little different in this case. And to save the lives of a buddy also does not apply. I support the military wholeheartedly but there is a point at which they can leave the tomb either unguarded or with some form of shelter while they are standing watch.

  • Old Guard

    It takes men like that to guard your freedom to be stupid.

  • W3PYF

    Honor Guardsman: Save you breath. They don’t understand. Duty. Honor. Country. Commitment. Old fashioned values.

    Note how Romney never mentions the military – not in his convention speech, not in any of the debates – perhaps because he’s a draft dodger. Obama always shows his respect for soldiers. His wife promotes causes that support military families.

    Duty, Honor. Country.


  • Bruce

    The guards do in fact stop marching and retreat inside when, and only when, there are lightning strikes in the vicinity. I know this for a fact because it happened just prior to my father’s ceremony there and I have a photo I took of the empty walkway during the storm. Of course there is no shame or disrespect involved by taking these soldiers briefly out of serious danger when their purpose is far more ceremonial than protective.

  • hammaa

    buncha fags trolling a cemetery in the hopes of quick anonymous sex. you go, guys!

  • Chucie

    Ahhh I get it, it’s like frats and sororities; “You’ll never understand until you’ve been a part of it.” No thanks, I don’t drink kool aid.

  • guest

    so you’re saying anyone against the idea of having men unnecessarily riding out a hurricane, don’t know the “true honor” of symbolism?

    I can think of a lot of former soldiers who’d want those men safe and sound instead of standing by a statue.

  • guest

    If that’s just ‘adverse weather conditions’ from a month ago, I can only imagine what it must be like for these soldiers now, during Hurricane Sandy.

    I understand the power of symbolism and ceremony, but what if they fall seriously ill with hypothermia standing outside in during a hurricane for hours?

  • Ripley

    I agree. Because questioning people’s actions is just silly. We must never question anything. We should just all get along and take orders from our superiors.

  • Joseph

    Are those bayonets I see on those rifles? I guess they didn’t get the word from POTUS that the military has changed and gave those up a long time ago. /sarcasm

  • Carin Basson

    To those who see this as pointless money-wasting: It’s less protecting and more keeping vigil. They are making a statement of solidarity. I read somewhere that all these guards are volunteers. It clearly has deep significance for people connected to the military, and I respect them for their dedication.

  • Tired Soldier

    Anyone talking down to the soldiers who are currently fighting two wars because their nation sent them to do so should either shut up or get off the internet and do something about it. These men, like myself volunteered to serve and protect the principles of this great nation; it is not our fault that our nation has sent us to fight wars “you” may or may not believe in. If you truly believe 18 year old boys are being sent on a one way trip to the desert and coming back in pine boxes for nothing then you should get off your ass and put a stop to it. You’re an American by birth, now it’s time you act like one and maybe do something, anything instead of wasting hot speaking vile and disgusting words.

    Just remember, we are soldiers, we don’t decide how we are used; the people of America do, and yes, that does include you jackasses.

  • 9inchnail

    A soldier’s service to his country is only honorable if the country’s agenda is honorable. America hasn’t been in an honorable war for decades. You’re not serving your country (which means it’s people) if you’re just killing and eventually dying for some rich bastards making some more money. I don’t care how brave you fought in that conflict if the war was one big crime against humanity to begin with.

  • 9inchnail

    Well, if you fight in a densely populated urban environment and have to search houses or make your way through narrow streets and corridors, a bayonet might come in handy. Not every fight can be won by pushing a button.

  • 9inchnail

    It takes men like that to guard your cheap oil prices to drive your ridiculously wasteful American car.

    Or do you really think, some peasant in Afghanistan whose enjoying his vacation in Guantanamo right now, was a threat to your freedom? Those people wouldn’t find America on a map. Ok, 50% of Americans won’t find it either but that’s not the issue here.

  • 9inchnail

    Oh, so I guess most people only missed their town meetings where they could have voted if they want to send their sons to certain death. Well, it’s their own fault then. You’re absolutely right.

  • Adam

    Thanks for posting this correction! It’s always nice to see an attribution/cutline cleared up. It’s a fine photo regardless of when it was taken and illustrates the military’s professional dedication regardless of the policies they’re tasked to enforce.

  • Joseph

    “We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

    (I’ve been practicing my line but I just can’t seem to get the condescending tone down right…)

  • Matt

    You are correct. And thanks for your service. People need to be more involved in the process, this is a democracy.

    But we also need to be more critical of what politicians are telling us. Ya, think for ourselves, not just belive everything that FOX news is spewing.

  • rs1123

    W3PYF – Romney is not a ‘draft dodger’ though he was out of the country serving as a missionary for his church when he was 18 (I believe). That is typically the age when young Mormons do the required service for their faith. As for Obama:
    1. His ‘selective service’ registration has been shown conclusively to have been forged. Not claimed, not alleged, I have seen the proof that it was faked.
    2. Tell the father of the former Navy Seal who got killed in Benghazi how respectful Obama is of the military. He’ll laugh at you.
    3. You’ve probably never seen the video (it’s on You Tube) of the Obamas watching a national ceremony of some sort and Michelle says to her husband, with a look of disgust, ‘All this for a damned flag.’ He nods. While she can’t be heard saying it, her lips were read by someone who is an authority on lip reading, and there is no doubt she said it.

    You can keep Obama and his ‘respect’.

  • rs1123

    As are you. Especially retarded.

  • Respect

    Rash, I guess that you’ve never served in the military or any other community service. Guarding the tomb is a sing of respect and not a waste of money. There are things that our government actually wastes money on but guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is certainly not one.

  • Respect

    Rash, I guess that you’ve never served in the military or any other community service. Guarding the tomb is a sing of respect and not a waste of money. There are things that our government actually wastes money on but guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is certainly not one.

  • OmniMode

    If I were an unknown soldier, I’d appreciate the gesture but I wouldn’t want others suffering the elements attending a block of marble in my name. Wouldn’t really do me any good I don’t think. Go inside and get warm…and honor me in your heart with your honest feelings of gratitude. That you can do anywhere, anytime.

  • Patricia Henning

    This response goes out to “Mustbesaid” and all the others who do not understand what HONOR means. I have the utmost respect for servicemen & women. My 93 year old father, a WWII veteran and decades active member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars taught me the meaning of service and sacrifice. If you’ve never experienced this, then you have no idea the feeling it conjures up. Whenever you see a soldier, give them the honor they deserve and thank them. As for the reasoning for memorials – it symbolizes the honor and thankfulness that goes out to those soldiers. I am saddened that the WWII Memorial took so long to be built – for so many veterans either passed or are unable to make the trip. My dad will never see it and it would have been very meaningful to him.

  • An army wife

    Shut up