ARLINGTON, Va. - Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment placed nearly a quarter of a million U.S. flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday as part of a Memorial Day tradition.
The event is known as "flags in." It marks the beginning of Memorial Day weekend activities at the cemetery.
The tradition began in 1948 and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment unit puts every available soldier to work, planting small flags in front of the more than 230,000 grave markers.
"Oh it's amazing. I just couldn't believe how MANY tombstones were out here. That they'd die for our country and do the thing, that most people WOULDN'T do. It means a lot to the families," explained SP. Jacob Ferguson with the U.S. Army.
The soldiers also placed about 14,000 flags at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery in Washington.
The flags are removed after Memorial Day, before the cemeteries open to the public.