ABOUT THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier (TUS, or “The Tomb”) is one of our Nations most sacred shrines and is located in Arlington Cemetery just outside of Washington D.C. Since 11 November 1921 the TUS has been the final resting place for an unknown soldier of the First World War who is symbolic of all the unknown dead from that conflict. Since that time, three more soldiers – one from WWII, The Korean War, and The Vietnam War – have also been interred at the TUS. Symbolic of the all unknown dead from the American wars of the 20th century, The Tomb serves not only as a monument to sacrifices paid with human life, but as a place for untold thousands to come and pay their last respects to friends and loved ones who never made it home.
Guarding over these fallen soldiers and all whom they represent are the Sentinels of The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. Comprised of a platoon of soldiers from the Nation’s oldest active duty Army Infantry regiment, the 3RD US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), these Sentinels have maintained a constant vigil over the TUS, every second of every day since 2 July 1937. In that time, just over 600 soldiers have earned the right to stand guard over The Tomb; to call themselves Sentinels, and wear the Tomb Guard badge – the least awarded decoration in the US Army.
In maintaining this vigil, the Sentinels work shifts up to 26 hours long every other day.
Devoting their every waking moment to honoring the Unknowns and helping pay tribute to countless men and women who never returned from overseas, the Sentinels live by the sixth line of their creed, which reads:
“My standard will remain perfection.”
To this motto the Sentinels adhere. Not out of vanity, but out of debt to the Soldiers beneath the marble on the premise that the magnitude of their sacrifice must be repaid in the coin of integrity, honor, discipline, loyalty and vigilant striving to hold themselves to a higher standard and always give more, rising above selfishness and egoism and carelessness.
Now if you’re wondering how to connect the dots between the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and EpicentRx, the affiliation involves former Staff Sergeant Christopher Parker, a Sentinel from The Tomb, who joined EpicentRx in 2012 as the Lead Clinical Research Associate. For Christopher Parker, and the EpicentRx team, the opening lines of the Sentinel’s Creed resonate with a deep and personal sense of commitment and the overlapping nature of our responsibility to clinical trial patients, past, present and future:
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.