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Memorial Day comes this weekend and, while it’s often a time to barbecue, open community pools, and have parades, the real meaning of Memorial Day is in remembering our country’s fallen heroes and heroines. Did you know that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because it was a day to honor the fallen by placing flowers and flags on their graves?

Arlington National CemeteryThis morning, on the radio on the way to work, I heard a story about the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) and how soldiers in this unit participate in a ceremony called Flags In. During this ceremony, flags are placed at each grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery to honor those who are buried there. That’s over 280,000 flags and they place them in three hours! The flags are removed before the cemeteries open on the day after Memorial Day.

Of course, that radio story encouraged me to find out more about 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and I discovered that this particular unit of the Army has been serving since 1784 and is the official ceremonial unit, escort to the president, and secures our nation’s capital in times of national emergency. (www.arlingtoncemetery.mil)  The Old Guard participates in more than 6,000 ceremonies each year. Can you figure out how many that averages out to per day? It’s a lot!

Take a brief look at Arlington National Cemetery in this video, found in your Discovery Education account. And tell us in the Comments who and how you are honoring this Memorial Day.



  1. Sydney (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    Wow that’s amazing!!!

  2. Sydney (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    Happy Memorials Day everyone!!!
    Thank you ones who have been a U.S. Soldier and protected us!! :)

  3. Alyssa (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    I agree with Sydney have a wonderful Memorial Day and thanks for those who have served us.

  4. Erin (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    I think that this is very important day to know about. I feel that many people do not know the real reason we get off of school on this sad day and they should really know what it is for. over all I thought this is a very special day.

  5. mason (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    I know! Thank you very much for giving your life so that we could have freedom

  6. Haley (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    So cool! I really think that people don’t know what memorial day is really about. All that they care about is that they get a day off of school or work. My famiy goes through pictures of ancestors thet were in the army.

  7. Heidi (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    I think that this information is very important this teaches us a lot of new things. And Memorial day is a very important/special day

  8. Nathaniel (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    that was really fascinating to learn more about memorial day. I never herd of the old guard that’s totally new to me. the video was very deep and meaning full I have never been more proud to be American. I am going to vist the Arlington National Cemetery and pay my respect. its really sad we live this day and age and we don’t understand the true meaning or memorial day.

  9. John (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    I am thankful for american soldiers!

  10. Serena (Reply) on Friday 23, 2014

    it made me cried