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Soldiers with the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) participate in a "Flags In" event May 23, 2019 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The cemetery hosted the annual event to adorn all cemetery graves with U.S. flags in advance of Memorial Day. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Trump Visits Arlington National Cemetery Before Memorial Day

Soldiers with the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) participate in a "Flags In" event May 23, 2019 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The cemetery hosted the annual event to adorn all cemetery graves with U.S. flags in advance of Memorial Day. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump paid his respects Thursday to those who died in service to the United States by placing American flags at several gravesites during an early Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, participated in a decades-old tradition known as “flags in.”

Every Thursday before the holiday, members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, or the Old Guard, honor the nation’s fallen heroes by placing American flags at each service member’s headstone.

Trump and the first lady each placed three flags at three headstones after making a quiet trip to the hallowed burial ground.

Presidents typically lay a wreath and deliver remarks at the cemetery on Monday, which is Memorial Day, but Trump will be in Japan on a state visit.

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