Memorial Day Salutes Remain

Posted by Richard on May 8, 2018

The parades, which once reigned across America on Memorial Day, are slowly slipping away, except in those small towns that still remember and honor those who fought and died in war.

But salutes to the honored dead of the present and past still exist.

Since the late 1950s, on the Thursday before Memorial Day, 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery, according to They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.

The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in St. Louis still place flags at the 150 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts still place a candle at each of the 15,300 graves of soldiers buried at Fredricksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

The military remembers. Every Memorial Day, all ships and Naval stations worldwide fire a salute of 21 guns and display their ensign at half mast.

Traditionally, on military bases, the flag of the United States is raised quickly to the top of the staff, then lowered solemnly to half staff. It remains there until noon in remembrance of all those who gave their lives for their country.

The POW-MIA flag is also flown at federal and military installations on Memorial day and is half-staffed along with the national flag.

PBS television stations annually present an award-winning Memorial Day concert.

Less known are those few who labor anonymously in small, historical cemeteries, placing flags for the war dead on ancient stones. They, too, remember.