INSIDE THE SACRED DUTY
24 HOURS A DAY. 7 DAYS A WEEK. 365 DAYS A YEAR
A documentary exploring the mechanics of honor.
running time 34m 09s | released november 11, 2022
An elite platoon of U.S. Army Soldiers guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. It is one of the United States' most revered monuments. These Sentinels keep watch all day, everyday, without fail. They are human representations of dignity and honor. Take an inside look at the special people, past and present, who carry out what is called the "Sacred Duty".
Inside the Tomb Guard Quarters
Walking the Mat
THE DIRECTOR: PHIL GARRISON
I began this project in 2020 to document and celebrate my father, Dr. Charles Garrison. Dad served as a Tomb Guard for seven months in 1961. I planned to combine his memories with my grandfather’s 1961 original film footage of the Tomb. However, the journey quickly exceeded my expectations when I met Jeff Gottesfeld, author of "Twenty-One Steps", and Fred Moore, the first African American Tomb Guard in US History. My friend, West Point alum Nancy Preston, generously shared a personal and non-Sentinel military perspective of the Old Guard. Later, the US Department of Defense granted me exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Tomb Guard Quarters at Arlington National Cemetery. At the Tomb, I was introduced to 1LT Andrew Katz, SGT Troy Leister, and SGT Gabriel Silva. I am profoundly grateful for each person involved and the contribution they graciously made to this film. Unfortunately, my father passed away unexpectedly in March 2022. He had helped guide the direction of the film and had seen a late draft of it. He loved this film and was very proud of my work. I am forever proud of him. Thank you for your interest in this film and I hope it adequately honors the special men and women who Walk the Mat.