The Sentinel's Creed - Tomb Guard - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier



My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.

- Simon 1971

Creed all Tomb Guards learn in training.
Inscribed on a plaque by the entrance to the quarters.
Arlington National Cemetery,
Washington, D.C.

Tomb Guard Relief at attention - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Arlington Cemetery


The Vigil

In measured steps he makes in rounds.
The click of heels the only sounds.
He stands erect so straight and tall,
With pride and dedication responds to the call.
With deep affection his vigil keeps,
Over those who forever sleep.

He responds not to the visitors stare,
Maintaining his vigil as if in silent prayer.
In the morning’s twilight hours,
His watch becomes like cathedral towers.
Reaching from earth to heaven above,
A lasting tribute to one man’s love.

As time and seasons come and go,
His vigil remains for all to know.
That beneath the sacred Arlington sod,
Lies three buddies K

(Dedicated to my cousin, SSG John Gallagher, US Army Special Forces,
killed in action January 5, 1968, Republic of Vietnam,
and to the men who guard the Tombs of the Unknowns.)


Alone and far removed from earthly care,
The noble ruins of men lie buried here,
You were strong men, good men,
Endowed with youth and much the will to live,
I hear no protest from the mute lips of the dead,
They rest there is no more to give.

An untitled poem written by Audie Murphy in 1948
on the wall in the Tomb Guard quarters



You are the gleaming pride of the American soldier.
Guard the unknown soldier because he is "America the beautiful"
God bless the sentinel and we salute you all.

~ On the wall in the Tomb Guard quarters ~


You are guarding the world’s most precious gifts, you, you alone are the symbol of 200 million people who wish to show their gratitude and you will march through the rain, the snow, and the heat to prove it.

Poem by Ken Carrolan on the wall in the Tomb Guard quarters


Civil War Unknowns

Beneath this stone repose the bones
Of 2,111 unknown soldiers
Gathered after the war
From the fields of Bull Run
And the route to the Rappahanock
Their remains could not be identified,
But their names and deaths are recorded
In the archives of their country,
And its grateful citizens honor them
As of their noble army of martyrs.

May they rest in peace,
September A.D. 1866


Confederate Memorial

Not for fame or reward, not for place or for rank,
Not lured by ambition, or goaded by necessity,
But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it,
These men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all, and died.


Dedicated to the vigilant sentinels of the Tomb Guard
for their dedication and commitment
at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Society of the Honor Guard
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier