In A Place Where Valor Lies

May 23, 2009


In a place where courage and valor lie, Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” as well as ceremonial units from each branch of the military gathered on May 21st with full rucksacks. Their mission? To place American flags on each grave at Arlington National Ceremony. That’s more than 300,000 flags. “Flags In” as it is known, is the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend for military members and visitors to Arlington National Cemetery, a holiday for reflecting upon the sacrifices, commitment and valor of those who have given their lives in defense of this country.

Each service member participating had a ruck sack full of flags. Wooden crates containing more flags lined the roads of Arlington National Cemetery, where those participating could refill their ruck sacks as needed. When they were finished, each grave had a flag placed one foot from it’s base.


“It’s a privilege to be out here, it’s a very specific group that is allowed to do this,” said Sgt. Andrew Jansen of the Old Guard’s Headquarters Company. This is the 5th year that Jansen has had the honor of participating.1

They take this job seriously. Afterall, their mission is to ensure that those whose resting place is there, is honored. It’s important to do so, especially on the day set aside to honor the sacrifices of the brave souls buried there. Some of those who had the honor of participating, brought their families along to witness. Children could occasionally be seen carrying tall stacks of flags, some taller than they were, and handing them to the service members whose job it was to place a flag at each grave.

They sometimes took the time to pause and salute, as they placed a flag on certain graves, those of Medal of Honor recepients, such as SPC Ross A. McGinnis who gave his life, by throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his fellow Soldiers.2 Old Guard Soldiers will stand watch at Arlington National Cemetery throughout the Memorial Day weekend.


Arlington National Cemetery isn’t the only place where you’ll see a sea of flags proudly waving at the graves of fallen warriors. In Veterans Cemeteries across the country, a similar mission was accomplished. In civilian cemeteries, you’ll also see flags standing proudly on the graves of military veterans. As you go about your weekend, whatever you have planned, take time to think about what these men and women have given for us as a nation. I urge you to take part in the National Moment of Silence on Monday at 3pm local time. If you visit a cemetery and see flags on certain graves, please take a moment to reflect upon what those flags mean. Take a moment to say thanks that brave warriors such as these, have willingly sacrificed to ensure our freedoms. They deserve this honor.

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One Response to “In A Place Where Valor Lies”

  1. Hot News » Arlington National Cemetary on May 26th, 2009 12:30 am

    [...] Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia is a military cemetery in the United States, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington. The cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and near The Pentagon. It is served by the Arlington Cemetery station on the Blue Line of the Washington Metro system.More than 300,000 people are buried in an area of 624 acres (2.53 km2). Veterans and military casualties from every one of the nation’s wars are interred in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pre-Civil War dead were reinterred after 1900.Arlington shares with Mill Springs National Cemetery, the only other open cemetery in the system, the distinction of being the oldest military burial groue-in the United States.The first soldier to be buried at Arlington was Private William Henry Christman of Pennsylvania May 13 1864.Arlington National Cemetery and the United States soldiers and airmen of the Home National Cemetery are administered by the Department of the Army. Other national cemeteries are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Park Service.Arlington House (Custis-Lee Mansion) and its grounds are managed by the National Park Service as a memorial to Lee. History "The grounds on the house, we pray for those who lost their lives." Meigs wrote, "are admirably adapted to such use." Burials in fact started in Arlington, even before the ink has been deleted on the Meigs proposal.Custis Lee, heir to the property, sued the government claiming ownership of land. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lee, Congress returned the land to him, and then one year later he was sold for $ 150,000 before the Civil War, Robert E. Lee graduated from West Point and an officer in the United States Army. Usefull Posts In A Place Where Valor Lies : A Soldier’s Mind………Memorial Day « Delta Whiskey… « Home Depot Memorial Day Hours Battle Of The Bulge » © 2009 var gaJsHost = ((”https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”); document.write(unescape(”%3Cscript src=’” + gaJsHost + “’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(”UA-7655051-1″); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {} cnsd=document; cnst=escape(cnsd.title); cnst=cnst.replace(/+/g,’%2B’); cnsa=navigator.appName; cnsn=(cnsa.substring(0,2)==’Mi’)?0:1; cnss=screen;cnspx=(cnsn==0)?cnss.colorDepth:cnss.pixelDepth; if (cnsd.getElementById) { var i=cnsd.createElement(’img’); var iurl=’′; var amp=String.fromCharCode(38); iurl+=amp+’e=’+cnss.width+’.'+cnss.height; iurl+=amp+’d=’+cnspx+amp+’r=’+escape(cnsd.referrer); iurl+=amp+’p=’+escape(cnsd.location)+amp+’t=’+cnst; i.src=iurl; i.width=1;i.height=1;i.border=0; cnsd.getElementById(’cnstats_span’).appendChild(i); } [...]

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