WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A Memorial Day tribute is now on display at Arlington National Cemetery.
Each year the Flags-In Ceremony honors the fallen heroes buried there. On Thursday, before dawn, hundreds of soldiers took part in the ceremony. They placed flags at more than 250,000 graves in the cemetery.
Staff Sergeant Gerald Morgan said it was a privilege for him to be part of the event.
“Placing the flag and honoring them is letting them know hey, look, we still think about you, we love you, we thank you for serving this nation,” Morgan said.
For Captain D.J. Taylor, the ceremony took on special significance.
“My great uncle Richard O’Morey is buried in section 60,” Taylor said.
He made sure to personally place the flag at his great uncle’s headstone. But he says he tries to take a personal approach with each one.
“You get to take a moment and think about that person and say thank you in a very small way as you plant that flag,” Taylor said.
It was Sergeant Conley Mitchell’s first time doing flags-in. He said the effort spent to take part is well worth it.
“We take our time doing it. We ensure that everybody who is buried here is getting the proper honor bestowed upon them. It’s a very big deal,” Mitchell said.
They hope the gesture serves as a tribute for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and as a reminder for why they did it.
“Be thankful and grateful for these individuals that have paved the way. Because if it wasn’t for them and it wasn’t for us then who knows where our nations would be,” Morgan said.
Staff Sergeant Robin Barnhill says this weekend she wants everyone to be thinking about the real meaning behind Memorial Day.
“Remember why this long weekend is here. It wasn’t just given it was earned by a lot of the service members out here,” Barnhill said.