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Each year the soldiers of the Third United States Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard") take part in the ceremony called "Flags In."  Just before Memorial Day, each grave in Arlington National Cemetery is decorated with a small American flag.

The flags remain in place until the conclusion of the Memorial Day Weekend when they are all removed.  It is the only time during the year when American flags are permitted at all gravesites in the Cemetery.  The "Flags In" detail took place this year on Thursday, 27 May 2004.

Flags In: Memorial Day At Arlington National Cemetery: May 2004 PHOTO
A soldier places flags on graves at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2004.
Some 290,000 flags are placed in front of graves to honor fallen soldiers who will be remembered
on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
Soldiers of the Old Guard carry flags to place on graves at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2004.
Some 290,000 flags are placed in front of graves to honor fallen soldiers who will be remembered on
Memorial Day May 31, 2004.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
A soldier adjusts a flag after placing it on a grave at Arlington National Cemetery
May 27, 2004. Some 290,000 flags are placed in front of graves to honor fallen soldiers
who will be remembered on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
A soldier places flags on graves at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2004. Some 290,000
flags are placed in front of graves to honor fallen soldiers who will be remembered on Memorial Day May 31, 2004.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
A soldier prepares to place a flag on a grave at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2004.
Some 290,000 flags are placed in front of graves to honor fallen soldiers who will be remembered on
Memorial Day May 31, 2004.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
 A soldier places flags on graves at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2004.
Some 290,000 flags are placed in front of graves to honor fallen soldiers who will
be remembered on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004..

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
A U.S. Marine detachment from Annapolis, Maryland assists the 3rd Infantry Old Guard in
placing some 290,000 flags at each headstone in preparation for Memorial Day 27 May, 2004
at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
Old Guard soldiers place flags in front of every headstones at Arlington National Cemetery,
Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces
will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
Old Guard soldier Specialist Armando Zapata of San Diego, right, and Boy Scout Michael Kiko, of
Arlington, Virginia, help place flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery,
Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces
will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
Old Guard soldier Wesley Wilk, of Dallas, Texas, places flags in front of the headstones at
Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day.
Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave
marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers.

An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day. Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. (AP
An Old Guard soldier pauses while placing flags in front of every headstone at
Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, May 27, 2004 in preparation of Memorial Day.
Troops in each arm of the Armed Forces will place more than 290,000 flags at every grave
marker in Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers.
 

Flags In: Memorial Day 2004: Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
 A floral tribute and U.S. flags lay among the thousands of headstones of U.S. servicemen buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC, May 30, 2004. Memorial Day, May 31, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in the nation's military service, and this year's holiday coincides with the dedication of a World War II memorial that has drawn hundreds of thousands of veterans for what is likely the last major gathering of U.S. soldiers from that conflict.

Flags-In: Memorial Day 2004 At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
A squirrel leaps between the headstones of U.S. servicemen buried at Arlington
National Cemetery May 30, 2004 on the Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day, May 31, 2004.

All Photos Courtesy of the Reuters News Service And The Associated Press

Posted: 27 May 2004 Updated: 31 May 2004