While Veterans Cemeteries across the nation will hold special celebrations in honor of Memorial Day, no place is the holiday more revered than at Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington’s commemoration of this day set aside to honor those we have lost in service to our country began on Thursday, May 26st with the “Flags-In” ceremony. Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery activities continue through Monday, May 25. Click here to visit the Arlington National Cemetery website.
Flags-In is a time honored tradition that is reserved for Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Since The Old Guard’s designation as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948, they have conducted this mission annually at Arlington National Cemetery prior to Memorial Day to honor our nation’s fallen military heroes.
This year’s Flags-In is scheduled for Thursday, May 21 beginning at 4 p.m.
Within four hours, more than a thousand Old Guard Soldiers will place a small American flag one foot in front of and centered at more than 220,000 grave markers, to honor every individual buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Old Guard Soldiers will also place an American flag at the foot of each Columbarium.
A Tomb Sentinel will conduct a ceremony to place American flags at each of the four crypts to honor all our nation’s fallen heroes at noon.
MINDFUL MEMORIAL DAY AT WOMEN IN MILITARY SERVICE FOR AMERICA MEMORIAL
The third annual Mindful Memorial Day event takes place May 28-30 at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Volunteers will hang 6,852 yellow ribbons in remembrance of our fallen warriors, especially those from our most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial will remain on display for the entire week preceding Memorial Day Weekend. During this time, visitors are welcome between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, please visit: www.MindfulMemorialDay.org.
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE
On Monday, May 30 the annual National Memorial Day Observance to honor America’s fallen military service members till take place.
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to be followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Defense in Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater. A prelude by the United States Marine Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m.
Both the wreath-laying ceremony and the observance program are free and open to the general public. No tickets are needed to attend these events. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to be at the Tomb of the Unknowns or seated in the amphitheater by 9:30 a.m.