The oldest active duty regiment in the U.S. Army is the Third United States Infantry.
Their beginnings in 1784 predate even the U.S. Constitution. When the U.S. Army,
under General Winfield Scott, conquered General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the 3 rd
U.S. Infantry regiment was first to enter the capitol, Mexico City. General Scott called
them “The Old Guard,” and the nickname stuck.
After WWII the Army assigned this oldest of regiments to its most sacred ground,
Arlington National Cemetery. This past Memorial Day, as they do every year, the 3 rd
Infantry placed American flags at every tombstone in Arlington; over two hundred
thousand of them.
In a recent article Tom Cotton wrote, “No one summed up better what The Old Guard of
Arlington means for our nation than Sergeant Major of the Army, Dan Dailey. He
shared a story with me about taking a foreign military leader through Arlington to lay a
wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Sgt. Major Dailey said, ‘I was explaining
what the Old Guard does and he was looking out the window at all those headstones.
After a long pause, still looking at the headstones, he said, Now I know why your
soldiers fight so hard. You take better care of your dead than we do our living.”’
This season of the year is an especially patriotic time, with Memorial Day, the 75 th
anniversary of D-Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day. The liberals and the left in
politics, media, and culture find it difficult to celebrate much in these events since, in
their minds, America is to blame for most any bad thing they can think of. Sadly, it is
difficult to reason with people who seem incapable of reason.
The root of the reason we honor our dead is the fact that, with our foundations as a
nation resting on Biblical principles, we have known that people, distinct from animals,
possess and eternal soul. It is in the here and now that you have the opportunity to
attend to the destiny of your own soul. Take care not to let slip that opportunity.