See 228,000 Flags Planted for Memorial Day in 1 Minute

The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the distinguished Old Guard, honors the nation's fallen soldiers each year by planting more than 228,000 American flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The annual "Flags-In" ceremony echoes the origins of Memorial Day traditions, when both Confederate and Union soldiers decorated the graves of their fallen compatriots after the Civil War. The Old Guard has conducted this tradition yearly since 1948.

TIME contributing photographer Brooks Kraft captured this year's ceremony on Thursday. More than 1,000 soldiers participated in the ritual over a span of four hours at the sprawling Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.

Photos: Honoring the Old Guard At Arlington National Cemetery

Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Members of the U.S. Army Old Guard walk away after a wreath-laying ceremony at President John F. Kennedy's gravesite at Arlington Cemetery in Va. on Nov. 17, 2011.Mark Wilson—Getty Images
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Old Guard Arlington National Cemetery
Members of the U.S. Army Old Guard walk away after a wreath-laying ceremony at President John F. Kennedy's gravesite at
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Mark Wilson—Getty Images
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