A time-honored, pre-Memorial Day tradition took place at Arlington National Cemetery this morning.
More than 1,000 soldiers with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, as well as servicemembers from ceremonial units of the other armed forces branches, fanned out over the cemetery’s 640 acres to place 260,000 flags next to headstones and niche rows.
The annual “Flags-in” mission takes only four hours to honor every individual laid to rest at the ceremony, including our nation’s fallen military heroes.
ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott and other members of the media were able to get a glimpse of the marvel of solemnity and logistics today around dawn, as birds chirped on a cool, overcast morning.
Earlier today, soldiers from @USArmyOldGuard, along with service members from @USMC, @USNavy, @usairforce, and @USCG, placed U.S. flags at every gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery as part of #FlagsIn.#HonorThem
U.S. Army photos by Elizabeth Fraser pic.twitter.com/07hKqQfz5B
— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) May 26, 2022
This Memorial Day weekend also brings a new tradition: the public getting a rare opportunity to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“Due to the public’s overwhelming positive response to the Flower Laying Ceremony during the Tomb Centennial Commemoration in November, ANC is inviting the public to once again honor our service members by placing flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider,” the cemetery said earlier this week
The inaugural Flowers of Remembrance Day is taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
More about the event from a cemetery press release, below.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is honored to announce the first Flowers of Remembrance Day on May 28, 2022 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“The Unknown Soldiers gave their lives and their identities in service to our nation. We had such an overwhelming response to the flower ceremony during the Centennial Commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in November 2021 that we will again allow our visitors to honor and respect their sacrifice by placing flowers at their graveside,” said Army National Military Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery Executive Director Karen Durham-Aguilera.
Flowers of Remembrance Day pays homage to the first official Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day, which originally took place in Arlington National Cemetery in 1868 as a way to honor the sacrifices of those who fought and died in the Civil War. This first Decoration Day featured a procession from Arlington House to the Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns and further into the cemetery, where people decorated the graves with flowers. This became an annual tradition and established Arlington as the site of the nation’s official, annual Decoration Day observance.
“Every day is Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery,” said Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery Charles “Ray” Alexander. “This special day will provide the American public the opportunity to honor and remember at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and explore the national shrine that we are entrusted to preserve and protect.
ANC historians will offer history talks at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the center of the Memorial Amphitheater to share the history of Decoration Day. An optional walking tour will follow the 10:00 a.m. talk only.
Flowers will be provided or members of the public may bring any long-stemmed flower to place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Visitors should not bring vases, wreaths, or flowers with any packaging or plastic containers. The public is also encouraged to bring water and wear comfortable shoes for walking to the Tomb plaza.
As part of Arlington National Cemetery’s new Education Program, an educational module on the history and significance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is available at:
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Good Tuesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
New Addison Heights Home by National Landing Attractions!
A 19-year-old man and a teen boy are facing charges after two girls overdosed at Wakefield High School last week. Police and medics responded to the school just before 11:45…
The Arlington Sports Hall of Fame is extremely pleased to announce that our 2023 Annual Induction Dinner, again in partnership with the Better Sports Club of Arlington, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Knights of Columbus, located at 5115 Little Falls Road, Arlington, Va.
Our dinner will pay tribute to all the honored members of the Hall of Fame and will induct the following six new Class of 2023 inductees, joining the 62 athletes, coaches and contributors who have been inducted into ASHOF since its founding in 1958:
Noel Deskins (Yorktown Class of ’79): Track & Field record-holder & Athlete of the Year at YHS and JMU
Eric Metcalf (O’Connell Class of ’85): Star NFL running back, football and track & field record-holder and Hall of Famer at both O’Connell and the University of Texas
Opening night in Ballston, thanks to a partnership with Marymount University will feature renowned soprano Sharon Christman singing songs of Franz Schubert, Leonard Bernstein, Fanny Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss and some thrilling instrumental music.
But that’s not all! Get ready to