Volunteers hold “Flag In” at East Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Volunteers gathered at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Friday to help place flags at the headstones of our fallen veterans.  

“I get emotional at some point when I talk about this. But there are over 4,000 veterans at this cemetery alone. It’s important that we understand our history, so we don’t repeat bad things again,” said Larry Winters, a Marines veteran volunteer. 

Volunteers met at the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier Highway at 9 a.m. on Friday. 

Due to the coronavirus, certain measures, including social distancing were mandatory. 

“We still have to practice social distancing. We monitor all of our children to make sure that they’re not sick or have a fever or cough, anything that the president has asked us to do. We abide by,” said Winters. 

This tradition, known as “Flags in,” has taken place annually since the Old Guard was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. Established in 1784, the Old Guard or 3rd Infantry Regiment is the oldest active-duty Infantry Unit in the Army. The Old Guard maintains a 24-hour vigil at the tomb of the unknown soldier and provides military funeral escorts at Arlington, among other duties. 

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