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Volunteers pick up bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves as others waiting to register seek shelter from a sudden downpour during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Volunteers pick up bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves as others waiting to register seek shelter from a sudden downpour during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Volunteers pick up bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves as others waiting to register seek shelter from a sudden downpour during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Volunteers pick up bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves as others waiting to register seek shelter from a sudden downpour during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A B-52 bomber roars over Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A B-52 bomber roars over Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Six-year-old Liana Danner places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Six-year-old Liana Danner places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Angelica Danner hands a rose to six-year-old Liana Danner to place at an Arlington National Cemetery grave as Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin McCammon, holding Mikayla McCammon, watches during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Angelica Danner hands a rose to six-year-old Liana Danner to place at an Arlington National Cemetery grave as Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin McCammon, holding Mikayla McCammon, watches during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Asa Meyer of Arlington, Va. places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Meyer said it's the fifth year she's taken part in the event.
Asa Meyer of Arlington, Va. places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Meyer said it's the fifth year she's taken part in the event. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Volunteers place roses at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Volunteers place roses at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Seven-year-old Chase Halstead places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave as his dad, U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nathan Halstead, watches during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Seven-year-old Chase Halstead places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave as his dad, U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nathan Halstead, watches during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Seven-year-old Chase Halstead prepares to place a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave as his dad, U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nathan Halstead, watches during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Seven-year-old Chase Halstead prepares to place a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave as his dad, U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nathan Halstead, watches during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A rose and a flag adorn an Arlington National Cemetery grave in preparation for Memorial Day, Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A rose and a flag adorn an Arlington National Cemetery grave in preparation for Memorial Day, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Cathleen Beckman pauses before placing a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Cathleen Beckman pauses before placing a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Fermin Sandoval of Quantico-based er Squdron One places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Sgt. Fermin Sandoval of Quantico-based er Squdron One places a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Chris Kimrey salutes after placing a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Chris Kimrey salutes after placing a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A veteran salutes after placing a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A veteran salutes after placing a rose at an Arlington National Cemetery grave during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
With the U.S. Air Force Memorial in the background, volunteers carry bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
With the U.S. Air Force Memorial in the background, volunteers carry bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A volunteer carries roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A volunteer carries roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Volunteers carry bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Volunteers carry bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A volunteer walks through the rain as she carries roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A volunteer walks through the rain as she carries roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A vlunteer walks through a sudden downpour to place roses on Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A vlunteer walks through a sudden downpour to place roses on Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Volunteers carry bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Volunteers carry bags of roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A young volunteer covers herself against a sudden downpour before going out to place roses on graves at Arlington National Cemetery during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A young volunteer covers herself against a sudden downpour before going out to place roses on graves at Arlington National Cemetery during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A young volunteer shields himself against a sudden downpour as he carries roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
A young volunteer shields himself against a sudden downpour as he carries roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Volunteers line up for roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Volunteers line up for roses to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery graves during an event organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

ARLINGTON, Va. — Hundreds of volunteers braved intermittent downpours Sunday to place 160,000 roses on graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

The annual event, which began in 2011, was organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation. It will continue on Monday, when volunteers will hand out 30,000 roses to entering visitors and families of fallen troops at Arlington. The focus will be on Section 60, where many of those killed in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.

Flower growers from the U.S., Colombia and Ecuador donated flowers for distribution at Arlington. Similar ceremonies were scheduled at 17 cemeteries around the nation on Memorial Day this year; in addition to honoring the fallen, it's also a nod to the history of the holiday, which was originally known as Decoration Day.

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