President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other officials participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.
The event was among over 100 held at national cemeteries this weekend in honor of the 154th National Memorial Day. Public Memorial Day events were curtailed at national cemeteries in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
"They had a mission, and above all they believed in duty, they believed in honor, they believed in their country. And still today we are free because they were brave," Biden said.
All VA national cemeteries are open on Memorial Day weekend from dawn to dusk. Many locations hosted volunteers who placed small American flags in front of Veteran headstones in the days leading up to Memorial Day, the Department of Veterans Affairs said.
At Arlington National Cemetery, 228,000 small American flags are placed with each headstone for Memorial Day.
"There is no more fitting place to reflect upon the service and sacrifice of America's Veterans and service members than in a national cemetery," said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. "Here lie those who served, sacrificed and — in many cases — gave their lives for us and our country. We are forever in their debt."