From rising conservative star U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, an intimate and inspiring portrait of Arlington National Cemetery's Old Guard, the official ceremonial unit of the U.S. Army and Americas oldest infantry unit, dating to 1784: part history of the Old Guard, part memoir of Senator Cotton's time as a platoon leader in the unit, part meditation on service, tradition, and patriotism.It is the most sacred square mile in America. A city of the deadmore than 400,000 inhabitants and growing with each passing week. On 624 sloping acres, across a river from the nations capital, lie generations of heroes in a place called Arlington. The ground contains presidents and privates, some of the most famous names in military and political history—Supreme Court justices, five-star generals, and war heroes—as well as liberated slaves, and the bodies of soldiers known only to God.
For sixteen months, in between combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tom Cotton, United States Senator from Arkansas, served as a platoon leader for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at Arlington. Known as The Old Guard, these men and women stand guard over the funerals of soldiers, construct ceremonial medals from scratch, and run ceremonies such as Flags In, where they place hundreds of thousands of flags at Arlington gravesites. Membership in The Old Guard is one of the highest honors for a U.S. soldier, and its soldiers serve to remind Americans that tradition, integrity, and patriotism still matter.
Sacred Duty is both a history of the 3rd Regiment—the oldest active-duty regiment in the Army, dating to 1784—and a deeply personal reflection on honor, ritual, and service, from one of our most respected public figures. It is also a meditation on the value of service to ones countryand on those who have paid the ultimate price in this quest.
Includes approximately 25 photos.