ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. (DC News Now) — On the day before Memorial Day, people visiting Arlington National Cemetery were able to pay tribute to fallen service members by placing flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the second time in the history of the cemetery.
Flowers of Remembrance Day honors the first official Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day. In May 1868, only three years after the end of the Civil War, people were encouraged to lay flowers on the graves of the fallen in an effort to help heal the nation.
Among the people from across the country who were at Arlington to pay their respects were cousins who headed east to the Washington, D.C. area for a girls trip. They were inspired by their grandmother who once visited Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
Alexander Happ, a Colorado native, also made the trip to the DMV.
“There is really nothing like it, the feeling in the air,” said Alexander Happ, whose father and grandfathers were in the military. He felt fortunate to take part in Flowers of Remembrance Day.
“Getting to put the rose on the tomb, it was incredible, no words to match it,” shared Happ.
Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lewis made her 14th trip to Arlington National Cemetery to pay respects to her fiancé, Marcus, who lost his life in Afghanistan.
“My favorite part of serving is wearing the uniform to honor the memory of my childhood sweetheart,” said Lewis, referring to her 17 years in the military.