Prior to leaving the country over Memorial Day weekend, the president and first lady made it a point to honor U.S. heroes ahead of their travels.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump made a surprise visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday — where over 400,000 men and women who’ve sacrificed their lives for the country lie.
The "flags in" ceremony begins today, in which more than 260,000 American Flags are placed at every headstone in Arlington. Pres and Mrs Trump were given honor to place a few flags as well. pic.twitter.com/7eG3A6tWvk
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 23, 2019
The pair visited the gravesites of Gen. John J. Pershing and Frank Buckles, who was the longest living World War I veteran.
The Trumps placed flags at the headstones to pay their respects to the veterans. The flag-placing is part of the “Flags In” ceremony — which began in 1948 — where flags are placed at over 228,000 headstones and at the bottom of around 7,000 niche rows in one area, as well as 14,000 planted at the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery and other areas.
The president’s visit to the cemetery comes before he heads to Japan during the weekend, where he will be the first foreign leader to meet its new emperor, Naruhito. Trump is also expected to hold a Memorial Day event while overseas.
Additionally, Melania made an appearance on Wednesday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center ahead of Memorial Day weekend to meet with wounded warriors and award one military member a Purple Heart, as IJR Red reported.
Watch the video of their surprise visit below:
President Trump and the First Lady are visiting Arlington National Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day, placing American flags in front of headstones; the president is making the visit now, as he will be in Japan on Monday. pic.twitter.com/8B75kxi6L1
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 23, 2019
As for Memorial Day, the president is expected to offer pardons to multiple military members accused of war crimes — but the possible plans have several Republican lawmakers unsure if its the right move before a court decision, as IJR Red previously reported.