Trump visits Arlington National Cemetery before Memorial Day

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony ahead of Memorial Day Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony ahead of Memorial Day Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony ahead of Memorial Day Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony ahead of Memorial Day Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony, Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony, Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for their annual Flags In ceremony, Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for their annual Flags In ceremony, Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony ahead of Memorial Day Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Flags In ceremony ahead of Memorial Day Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

ARLINGTON, Va. — 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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