Today I would like to honor a soldier for his most honorable duty. Fred Moore is the first African American to hold a guard post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Moore was drafted into the army in 1959 during the civil rights movement. He volunteered his services in the 3rd U.S Infantry Regiment, also known as the Old Guard.
Moore wasn’t familiar with the Old Guard, but with his excellent test scores, he was considered an excellent candidate for the job. An officer made note of his scores, and his physical appearance, and asked if he would like to be apart of the Old Guard.
After a visit from former president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, to Arlington National Cemetery in 1961. Nkrumah stood by president Kennedy, and inquired on the lack of black soldiers working on the grounds.
In 1961, Moore took his place. He was assigned to the firing party. Moore says, that he did military funerals in Arlington National Cemetery. He fired his rifle over the graves, and sometimes the Old Guard would participate in ceremonies, and parades.
Moore was in the inaugural parade for John F. Kennedy.
After completing his duties as a tomb sentinel, Moore attended NCO academy, and graduated with honors. He then went back home to Cleveland. He is currently a deacon at his home church, and is recognized as a black hero.