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Memorial Day tradition: Arlington National Cemetery receives more than 280,000 flags

Soldiers will be AMERICAN flags in front of more than 280,000 tombstones on Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia as part of a Memorial Day tradition to honor America’s fallen heroes.

“‘Flags’ is a time-honored tradition that is reserved for the soldiers of the 3rd U. S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard),” the Arlington National Cemetery, said in a statement.

#FlagsIn the entire @ArlingtonNatl More than 1K @USArmyOldGuard Soldiers placing flags on more than 280K tombstones #Honorthem pic.twitter.com/cFHeFsxWj6

— Arlington Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) May 25, 2017

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The event marks the start of the Memorial Day weekend activities in the cemetery. The tradition began in 1948, to the cemetery.

During the ceremony, more than 1,000 Old Guard Soldiers an AMERICAN flag on the front of more than 280,000 tombstones as well as in the front of the columbariums “to account for more than 400,000 buried,” the statement said.

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The event will also feature a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The public is encouraged to watch but can not participate in placing the flags.

After Memorial Day, the flags are removed before the cemeteries open to the public.

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