HomeNewsPHOTO: Soldiers Place Flags at Over 260,000 Headstones at Arlington Cemetery in Moving Ceremony Ahead of Memorial Day

PHOTO: Soldiers Place Flags at Over 260,000 Headstones at Arlington Cemetery in Moving Ceremony Ahead of Memorial Day

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery are preparing for Memorial Day in a moving way. They’re placing American flags at each grave within the cemetery.

The flags commemorate the deceased soldiers, who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country. In total, there are over 260,000 graves at Arlington. Soldiers will place a flag at each of the graves during the annual event. Since its founding, Arlington National Cemetery has become the largest final resting place for soldiers and veterans in the country.

Millions pay a visit to the cemetery each year to repay their respects. Burial at the cemetery is considered a high honor, reserved for a select few. The cemetery houses soldiers who died while in the armed forces, retired veterans who passed later in life, and certain eligible family members.

The cemetery is also the final resting place for several U.S. presidents as well. Both John F. Kennedy and William H. Taft are at the cemetery. In fact, several of JFK’s family members are buried near him as well. For instance, JFK’s wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was laid to rest at Arlington.

Arlington National Cemetery Celebrates Memorial Day

Previously, the Arlington National Cemetery was an estate of General Robert E. Lee and the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington. After the Civil War, it became a burial site for several Union soldiers, who died during the costly war. And the tradition has stuck over the next two hundred years, becoming one of the largest tributes to deceased military personnel.

It’s hard to celebrate Memorial Day without turning your attention to Arlington National Cemetery and the soldiers laid to rest there. Memorial Day, a federal holiday, celebrates the accomplishments and also mourns the fallen soldiers throughout American history. There’s no better place in the country where that is exemplified other than the homes and families of deceased soldiers.

One of the saddest and most reflective places within Arlington is The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb commemorates a World War I soldier, who died and also could not be identified. Over the years, Arlington has added several other soldiers to the tomb. These soldiers ultimately sacrificed everything in the end, even their identities faded against the pages of time.

Over the years, politicians and also other public figures have laid wreaths on the grave to honor the sacrifices of military members as a whole. In honor of Memorial Day, over 260,000 flags wave in Arlington National Cemetery.