Donald and Melania Trump Place Flags in Honor of Nation’s Fallen Heroes Ahead of Memorial Day
The President of the United States was recently at Arlington National Cemetery, where he had the opportunity to plant small U.S. flags in front of headstones.
Donald Trump was accompanied by his wife, Melania Trump, and they took turns planting the flags on Thursday, May 23, 2019, while being closely watched by a quartet of servicemen from the Third Infantry "Old Guard" unit.
It has been reported that the First Couple's unannounced visit was made four days before Memorial Day because they will be in Japan on Monday.
We're honored to host @POTUS and @FLOTUS today for our annual tradition, #FlagsIn. They were welcomed by our Executive Director, Karen Durham-Aguilera; and Senior Enlisted Advisor, Sgt. Maj. Juan Abreu. pic.twitter.com/jejxagC6Tw— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) May 23, 2019
A FAIRLY SHORT STOP
Trump and Melania spent almost 15 minutes at the Virginia cemetery, more precisely in Section 34, where the grave of General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing is located.
However, they weren't the only ones planting flags in front of the headstones as other military personnel was also at the cemetery for the annual Flags-In event.
Soldier from @USArmyOldGuard takes a knee during a thunderstorm while participating in Flags-In at Arlington National Cemetery. For 55+ years, soldiers from The Old Guard have honored our nation’s fallen by placing U.S. flags at gravesites. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser) pic.twitter.com/0NeAAXZF2g— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) May 24, 2019
Flags-In takes place every year and starts on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day, a tradition that goes all the way back to 1948.
According to Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, Trump is expected to hold a Memorial Day event on Monday while in Tokyo, Japan, but wished to visit the Arlington cemetery before leaving.
FALLEN BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN
Arlington is the final resting place for over 400,000 men and women who served their country with pride and honor, and each year their service is remembered with an American flag.
Flags In takes place every year and starts on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day
Honored to be at @ArlingtonNatl today & take part in #FlagsIn to remember our fallen heroes. God Bless our military, their families & God Bless our great Nation! @USArmyOldGuard pic.twitter.com/lJ3lu2KfJG— Melania Trump 45 Archived (@FLOTUS45) May 23, 2019
THE BELLEAU WOOD CONTROVERSY
The United States military has been one of the focal points of Trump's presidency and the 72-year-old has paid tribute to veterans and active personnel on several occasions.
In late 2018, for example, Trump honored the American soldiers who perished during World War I in a ceremony that took place at the American Cemetery of Suresnes, in France.
President Trump, at Suresnes American Cemetery in France, stops for a silent moment in front of grave marker of American hero Jeff Marks. pic.twitter.com/4lr5ah7UKm— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) November 11, 2018
However, he was severely criticized because, prior to his appearance, he canceled a visit to the Belleau Wood cemetery on account of some rain. Instead, he just sent a delegation to the cemetery, including chief of staff John Kelly.