Last Thursday, the soldiers of the Third United States Infantry Regiment (the Old Guard) placed a small American flag in front of each of the 260,000 or so grave markers in Arlington National Cemetery. The soldiers remained on duty throughout the weekend, replacing flags that had fallen or been removed, to ensure that each grave was appropriately decorated and honored on Memorial Day.
This decades-old tradition exemplifies the attention the military pays to honoring its veterans and, above all of course, its fallen warriors. But what of the rest of us? Most of us in the Washington area didn’t visit Arlington this weekend. Most of us across America aren’t participating in Memorial Day services or commemorations.