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Night by night, troops photograph Arlington graves

No doubt this work is long overdue.

As AP reports:

ARLINGTON, Va. — Night after night this summer, troops from the Army's historic Old Guard have left their immaculately pressed dress blues, white gloves and shiny black boots at home to slip into Arlington National Cemetery in T-shirts and flip-flops to photograph each and every grave with an iPhone.

The sometimes eerie task to photograph more than 219,000 grave markers and the front of more than 43,000 sets of cremated remains in the columbarium is part of the Army's effort to account for every grave and to update and fully digitize the cemetery's maps. The Old Guard performs its work at night to escape the summer heat and to avoid interrupting funerals.

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Cliff Owen / AP

Soldiers from the Army Old Guard photograph headstones, in Section 15, as they take part in Task Force Christman to photograph and catalog more than 219,00 grave markers and the front of more than 43,000 sets of cremated remains at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 24. Night after night this summer, troops have left their immaculately pressed dress blues, white gloves and shiny black boots, photographing each and every grave with an iPhone.



Cliff Owen / AP

A soldier of the Army Old Guard uses an Apple iPhone to photograph a niche at the Columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery.

Cliff Owen / AP

Soldiers of the Army Old Guard Task Force Christman use Apple iPhone's to photograph and catalog more than 219,00 grave markers and the front of more than 43,000 sets of cremated remains at Arlington National Cemetery.

Cliff Owen / AP

Army Spc. Matthew Caruso, 24, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., shows the Apple iPad and spreadsheet which is used to keep track of which headstones the Army Old Guard has photographed at Arlington National Cemetery.