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 USMemorialDay.org. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
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.