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Arlington National Cemetery
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For a current list of ceremonies and special events scheduled at the cemetery, please click

The 3rd U.S. Infantry

The 3rd U.S. Infantry, traditionally known as "The Old Guard," is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army...  More

Military Funerals

The most frequent ceremony carried out at Arlington National Cemetery is usually private and intensely emotional. Customs for funerals are time honored - here a brief overview and for visiting clergy a guide to procedural protocol...  More

Wreath Layings

The gift of flowers at a memorial site is a ritual that occurs around the world, understood in every culture. The floral tributes at funerals bespeak both the beauty and the brevity of life and evoke memories of other days. These sorts of offerings are made each day at Arlington National Cemetery, ... More

The Origin of the 21-Gun Salute

The tradition of saluting can be traced to the Middle Ages practice of placing oneself in an unarmed position and, therefore, in the power of those being honored...  More

The Origin of the 21-Gun International Salute

All personal salutes may be traced to the prevailing use in earlier days: to ensure that the saluter placed himself in an unarmed position, and virtually in the power of the saluted...  More

"Flags in"

Each year just prior to Memorial Day weekend, every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry participates, placing small American flags before each grave marker...  More

The Origin of "Taps"

During the Civil War, in July 1862, Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield whistled a tune and asked the bugler to sound it for him...  More

Ruffles and Flourishes

Ruffles are played on drums, and flourishes are played on bugles...  More

The Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknowns

The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels - considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry...  More

Training the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknowns

More than 50 soldiers apply or are recruited annually. Of those, one quarter are accepted or choose to accept duty as Tomb Sentinels...  More