Part of the Old Guards: Illinois soldiers share memories of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Veterans Voices

Veteran’s Day marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most iconic monuments at Arlington National Cemetery: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

President Warren G. Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown on November 11th, 1921. The remains of an unidentified World War I American soldier killed in France now represent all of those who died in battle not knowing their names.

Some Illinois soldiers have been among those that have had the privilege of guarding the tomb.

Who are these men and women who have dedicated their time in the service to protecting this monument? They belong to the 3rd Infantry, the Army’s oldest active-duty regiment dating back to the Revolutionary War.

Mike Holub is a board member of the Old Guard Association, an organization that supports and promotes the history of the tomb and the Sentinels who watch over it. It’s been their job since 1948.

“It’s a very hallowed ground and very reverent area,” he said. “Sentinels represent us in the highest honor that we could give to a fallen comrade who fought in defense of our freedoms.”

As part of their training, Old Guards must learn The Sentinel’s Creed.

Ralph Till and Joe Varanauski are among the Old Guards. The two south suburban men, now in their 80’s, recently met and shared memories as Sentinels of the Tomb.

WGN’s Jackie Bange has the story.

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