My Wonderful Life

Memorial Day Customs for the Military

posted on 5/30/11 by MyWonderfulLife.com Staff

1.Taps

Today, whenever a man is buried with military honors anywhere in the United States, firing three volleys of musketry over the grave concludes the ceremony, and a trumpet or bugle sounds out the song “Taps.” General Daniel Butterfield can be credited with the composition of the song, because he disliked the colorless "extinguish lights" call that was in use around 1862.

You can listen to the song here:

 

2. Folding of the Flag

In this video, Tom Sherlock, Arlington Historian, explains the meaning and importance of the folding of the American flag.

 

3. Wreath Laying

According to the Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day and Memorial Day the president or his designee lays a wreath, generally at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and is attended by ceremonial units from the uniformed services.

 

4. 21-Gun Salute

On Memorial Day, all ships and Naval stations fire a salute of 21-minute guns and display the ensign at half-mast from 8 a.m. until completion of the salute.

 

5. “Flags In”

For the past 40 years, members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) have the honor of playing American flags on the gravestones of service members that are buried at the Arlington National Cemetery just before Memorial Day weekend.

Image Source: Copyright 2011, The Associated Press

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