Ahead of Memorial Day, Old Guard places hundreds of thousands of flags at Arlington

Matthew Rasmussen

ARLINGTON (AP) — At Arlington National Cemetery, soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, known as the Old Guard, placed hundreds of thousands of American flags at the gravestones and niches of service members interred at the cemetery overlooking the nation’s capital from Virginia.

Across the Potomac River, in Northwest Washington, members of the Old Guard also placed flags Thursday at the graves of those buried at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.

There are more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches for cremated remains at Arlington, established in 1864, and more than 14,000 veterans are interred at the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Cemetery, established in 1861.

The annual “Flags In” project takes place just before the Memorial Day weekend. It has been a part of the mission of the Old Guard since it was designated the Army’s ceremonial unit in 1948.


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