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Memorial Day 2017: Soldiers place 280,000 flags on headstones of fallen service members 

As part of a Memorial Day tradition, soldiers placed 280,000 flags on the headstones of fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery.

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The tradition, which soldiers call “Flags In,” has been held every year since the 3rd U.S. Infantry, known as the “Old Guard,” was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit 70 years ago.

RELATED: On Memorial Day, President Trump honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice

Specialist Kristen Pinnock participated in the tribute for the first time this year, telling WFLA, “I’m thinking about the families -- what they had gone through, what they still go through.”

“It really pulls at your heartstrings as it reminds you that we’ll always be there. We’ll always honor our guys,” Staff Sgt. Jason Kohne said.

RELATED: Take a look at this moving memorial dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan

It takes nearly 1,000 soldiers to complete the ritual, and they also perform the same task at U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

“I would do this every single year I could until I retire, if I could,” Army Pvt. Wes DeFee said told The Washington Examiner. “It’s such an honor to help the families and support them with honor and respect.”

Tiger Woods issues statement on DUI arrest, says no alcohol involved

Tiger Woods is apologizing to family, friends and fans following his DUI arrest early Monday in Juniper, Florida.

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” the pro golfer said in a statement Monday night, according to The Associated Press.

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Woods clarified that “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications,” not alcohol, was a factor in the arrest.

“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.

“I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too.”

Related: Tiger Woods arrested on drunken driving charges in Florida

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Woods, 41, was arrested around 3 a.m. ESPN reported he was booked at 7:18 a.m. People reported that he was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Woods said in a blog post on his website last week that, following a recent surgery on his back, he is focusing on short-term goals rather than a fast return to golf.

“Presently, I’m not looking ahead,” he wrote. “I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”

“It was instant nerve relief,” Woods said of the surgery. “I haven’t felt this good in years.”

The surgery was the fourth done on his back since spring 2014.

Woods said that “the long-term prognosis is positive” for a return to golf.

Read Woods’ full statement, from USA Today, below:

I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions. I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly. I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again. I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office for their professionalism."

Actors Chris Pratt and John Krasinski commemorate Memorial Day by honoring a fallen Navy SEAL

Chris Pratt and John Krasinski aren’t letting being out of the country on Memorial Day stop them from showing off their patriotism.

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The actors are both in the United Kingdom, but they made sure to save some time to commemorate the holiday by completing The Murph Challenge, an exercise routine that was created in honor of the late U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who was awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest decoration, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan.

RELATED: Soldiers complete a 70-year Memorial Day tradition, placing flags on the headstones of fallen service members

“It’s a day like today when we commemorate those fallen heroes and say thanks for all you do to make our dreams come true,” Pratt said on Instagram.

“So today, whether you do a Murph Challenge or just take some time to say thank you and remember, remember that’s what today is all about,” Krasinski added.

RELATED: Take a look at this moving memorial dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan

Each Memorial Day, people across the country perform the workout: a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another 1-mile run while wearing a 20-lb. body vest. The challenge raises money and awareness for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

Navy SEAL falls to death in Hudson River after parachute failure

 

An investigation is underway into the tragic death of a Navy SEAL in a parachuting accident Sunday during a demonstration for Fleet Week in Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

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The SEAL, part of the Navy’s elite skydiving team, the Leap Frogs, plunged to his death in the river when his chute failed to open, according to a Navy spokesperson.

The SEAL was immediately rescued from the water, but later pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center, the Navy said in a statement.

The parachutist was not identified pending notification of his family.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today,” Navy Rear Adm. Jack Scorby said, according to The Associated Press

The Leap Frogs have numerous performances scheduled throughout the rest of the year, according to their website.

Fight over parking spot turns into deadly shooting in Florida, police say

A shooting in Miami Beach on Sunday night left two dead and one injured in what allegedly started as a fight over a parking spot. 

Two men were shot around 10:30 p.m. on a street in South Beach by suspects in a white BMW, the Miami Herald reported. One of the victims succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital on Monday. 

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The four suspects in the BMW fled the scene and led Miami police on a brief pursuit until they crashed at an intersection, damaging two police cars, police said. 

Police said they then had an altercation with the suspects, and one of the four suspects was shot by an officer. The suspect later died at a local hospital.

Officers arrested the suspects, who have been identified as New York residents, the Herald reports. Police have not released the names of those involved.

Miami police are investigating the incident as a homicide, according to the Herald. Police said that two Miami Beach police officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave. 

Great white makes stunning dive into boat injuring 73-year-old fisherman

It could have been a scene out of the movie “Jaws.” In a stunning move, a nine-foot great white shark leaped out of the water and dove onto a fishing boat off the coast of New South Wales, injuring a 73-year-old fisherman.

In 60 years of fishing, Terry Selwood told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he’s never seen anything like it.

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“I caught a blur of something coming over the boat … and the pectoral fin of the shark hit me on the forearm and knocked me down on the ground to my hands and knees,” Selwood told the ABC.

“He came right over the top of the motor and then dropped onto the floor,” he said.

“There I was on all fours and he’s looking at me and I’m looking at him and then he started to do the dance around and shake and I couldn’t get out quick enough,” Selwood added.

>> Related: Teen recovering from terrifying shark attack in Gulf of Mexico

The Marine Rescue Unit came to his aid, transporting him to shore where he was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injury.

Selwood said conditions were clear at the time of the breach, with nothing unusual happening in the water around his boat.

>> Related: 25 great white sharks close California beaches, force swimmers ashore

“For some unknown reason he just launched himself out of the water and must have come up four feet out of the water to clear my outboard motor and drop straight in the boat.”

The shark was hauled off by researchers for a necropsy. As for Selwood, he told the ABC he’ll be out fishing again as soon as possible.

 

President Trump observes Memorial Day with somber service at Arlington

President Donald Trump marked his first Memorial Day in office with a somber service at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.

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The president first participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, before addressing a crowd of family members of the fallen gathered there to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In his speech, the president recognized the Gold Star families at the service.

"To every Gold Star family: God is with you, and your loved ones are with him." Trump said. 

"I believe that God has a special place in heaven for those who laid down their lives so that others may live free."

Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, who was also at the service, visited Section 60, where the military members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 are buried chatting and shaking hands with the families of the fallen.

The president took to Twitter this morning, posting several tweets about Memorial Day. 

“Today we remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving,” he wrote early Monday before heading over to Arlington for the somber remembrance ceremony.

“Honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to America. Home of the free, because of the brave,” he tweeted even earlier Monday morning.

>> Related: Trump approval rating hits new low in poll

Also Monday, Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, helped kick off a bike race in Washington for Project Hero, a veterans and first responders group, according to CNN.

 

Tiger Woods arrested on drunken driving charges in Florida

Tiger Woods spent part of Memorial Day in jail in Jupiter, Florida, after his arrest on drunken driving charges in Palm Beach County early Monday morning.

Woods was stopped and arrested around 3 a.m. on suspicion of DUI, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

He was released on his own recognizance later in the morning. 

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Woods, who lives on Jupiter Island, is charged with DUI-unlawful blood alcohol.

In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Jupiter Police spokeswoman Kristin Rightler said she did not know which tests were performed on Woods at the scene or in jail, but that more information on the arrest and charges should be available on Tuesday.

Social media erupted over the news, with some questioning why Woods didn’t call a Taxi or Uber.

Woods, 41, has battled medical issues in recent years, including multiple back surgeries. He last hit the links professionally in February, playing the Dubai Desert Classic, but pulled out of that tournament.

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time. He dominated the sport for almost 20 years with 14 major wins and 79 PGA Tour victories, according to the Golf Channel. 

Related: Tiger Woods issues statement on DUI arrest, says no alcohol involved

He was voted PGA Player of the year 11 times.

In a blog post last week, Woods wrote about the pain of his back injury

“It has been just over a month since I underwent fusion surgery on my back, and it is hard to express how much better I feel. It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years,” Woods wrote.

>> Related: Tiger Woods status for Honda Classic uncertain after latest injury

“I could no longer live with the pain I had. We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked,” he added.

Woods said he’s looking forward to returning to competitive golf as soon as he’s able. 

The Palm Beach Post contributed to this story.

Kittens mysteriously trapped in wall rescued by kind sheriff’s deputy  

Kittens mysteriously trapped in the wall of a house in Seminole County, Florida were rescued by a caring sheriff’s deputy.

The homeowners called authorities on May 20 after hearing a strange noise coming from inside a wall.

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The couple decided to cut a hole into the wall to investigate and found two kittens stuck inside, deputies said.

Deputy Nick Stewart carefully reached into the wall and pulled the kittens to safety.

The homeowners, who don't own a cat, said they were surprised to find the felines.

They said they believe the mother gave birth to the kittens in their attic and that the felines somehow fell between the studs and the drywall and became trapped behind the wall.

John Williams serenaded with his biggest hits, a cappella style during Harvard’s commencement

Hearing the “Star Wars” theme or the song from “Indiana Jones” never gets old for some and members of Harvard’s Din and Tonics a cappella group put a new spin on the iconic instrumentals in front of the music’s creator, John Williams.

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Williams was at the Ivy League university for Harvard’s commencement on Thursday. He was not only given a unique performance of his music, he also received an honorary doctor of music degree, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Watch the video of Din and Tonics’ performance below or click here.

Mark Zuckerburg addressed the Harvard graduates during commencement ceremonies Thursday afternoon. He was granted an honorary degree Thursday morning. Zuckerberg had attended Harvard, but dropped out to start Facebook.

65-year-old woman scammed, gives life savings to fake pastor, police say

A retired nanny has lost her life savings after falling victim to an alleged scammer and she doesn’t expect to see any of her money again.

Dorothy Edge was approached by a woman who claimed her visa was set to expire and that she needed money to return to South Africa. She also told Edge that she wanted to donate $100,000 from a large inheritance, but couldn’t take the money to South Africa, asking Edge to donate the money for her, WPIX reported.

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But the unidentified woman wanted to make sure that Edge had money of her own so she wouldn’t take the woman’s.

The the alleged fake pastor stepped in with bible in hand, saying that he would also donate,flashing cash to “reassure” the woman that he wasn’t taking her money, WPIX reported.

Edge then went to her home to get $28,000 -- which was her life-savings -- and returned to the pair.

The pastor and the woman said they wanted to bless the cash so she handed it to them. They handed back a bag; she thought contained her money, but in reality held shredded newspapers.

Police are looking to identify the pair.

Edge told WPIX that she’s angry at herself because she handed the money to the alleged scammers.

Soldier gets to see family for Memorial Day weekend thanks to stranger’s kindness

A soldier from Illinois was able to spend the Memorial Day weekend with his family in Missouri all thanks to the kindness of a stranger he met at a Dallas airport.

U.S. Army mechanic Keaton Tilson, who is stationed at Fort Hood, was stuck at an airport for two days, trying to get a flight on standby, KTVI reported. But Josh Rainey from Glendale, Missouri, wasn’t having any of it. 

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At first Rainey tried to give Tilson his ticket, but airline regulations wouldn’t allow the transfer, so Rainey decided on the next option, buying a last-minute ticket for Tilson to St. Louis so he can be with family over the holiday weekend.

Rainey told KTVI that the he spent $341 on the ticket and that the fact that Tilson was able to get home was worth more than the money.

“He walked away and came back and asked if he could hug me, and I think we both had to fight back the tears after that,” Rainey said.

WATCH: Bugler plays ‘Taps’ during 2016 Memorial Day sunset over Gettysburg

Historian Steven W. Sears calls the Battle of Gettysburg the “largest” and “costliest” campaign of the Civil War. Between the Union and Confederate forces, more than 57,000 men were lost, including 9,600 dead.

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To remember those who fell at that Pennsylvania battlefield in July 1863, and to honor all veterans who gave their lives for their country, Jari Villanueva of Taps for Veterans performed “Taps” on his bugle on Memorial Day in 2016 as the suns set over Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

It’s an old video, but the sentiments expressed never get old.

Memorial Day not about thanks, but remembrance

Memorial Day is a solemn holiday, intended to honor those veterans who died while serving. It’s not the same as Veterans Day, which honors the service of people who have worn the uniform.

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It may seem like hair-splitting, but Navy veteran Like Visconti insists there is a difference between honoring a fallen veteran and saying “Thank you for your service.”

"On Memorial Day, the veteran you're talking to may be going through a bit of melancholy remembering people who died over the years," Visconti told NPR

 

"I don't need to be thanked for my service," he said. "I think it's become kind of a platitude, toss-away thing to say."

Visconti co-founded the website DiversityInc, which addressed the topic of remembrance on May 22. He said he encourages those who want to say supportive words to a veteran to recognize "that the person may have friends who died in combat."

Chris Wilson, vice president of major accounts at DiversityInc., said that Memorial Day is a holiday where people should “memorialize those that decided to sign a contract” to join the U.S. military.

“Memorial Day is essentially the one day that we should remember all veterans that are no longer with us, whether that is from combat, everyday accidents or just the natural course of life with people dying of old age,” Wilson told DiversityInc.

And while people mean well when they thank a veteran for their service, Visconti said there are other ways to show appreciation.

"I think sometimes maybe just a pat on the back or an arm around the shoulder is really better than words," Visconti told NPR. "So just be a friend."

‘Jetsons’ movie ready to blast off production

A piece of our childhood may be coming to the big screen.

Warner Bros. has tapped director Conrad Vernon to helm its planned animated film “The Jetsons,” Variety reported.

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Vernon has co-directed hits like “Shrek 2” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.” He also voiced the Gingerbread Man in the “Shrek” films.

“The Jetsons” has been on the planning board for years after Warner Bros. hired Matt Liberman to pen the script in 2015, Variety reported.

The original “Jetsons” tv series aired for one season in prime time on ABC in 1962-63, Smithsonian reported.

This isn’t the first feature film for the space-age family. Universal released an animated “Jetsons” film in 1990 which was directed by Joseph Barbera, co-founder of Hanna-Barbera studios and one of the creators of the series.

Photos: Rolling Thunder 30th anniversary

Motorcyclists remember the fallen on Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day: Rolling Thunder remembers the fallen 

Members of the motorcycle group Rolling Thunder have continued their 30-year tradition to make sure that the nation’s fallen haven’t been forgotten.

Thousands of motorcyclists rode into the nation’s capital in honor of Memorial Day.

They arrived Sunday before visiting Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and The World War II Memorial, WTOP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s too many guys that haven’t come home,” one rider told WRC Sunday.

They started the ride by meeting at the Pentagon before crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge before parading through the streets of Washington, D.C., WTOP reported.

Participants also took part in the Blessing of the Bikes at the National Cathedral, WRC reported.

Riders come from all over the country, including one person who told WTOP that he flew his bike from Hawaii to California before continuing on a cross-country ride to D.C.

J.K. Rowling updates fans on ‘Fantastic Beasts’ sequel

J.K. Rowling has updated fans on the status of the latest movie in the Harry Potter universe.

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The author announced on Twitter that she has finished writing the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” NME reported.

Rowling whet the appetites of the Potter faithful in February when she gave them a sneak peek of the script.

Filming is expected to begin later this summer with Eddie Redmayne reprising his role as Newt Scamander, Screen Rant reported. Callam Turner will join the cast as Newt’s brother. Johnny Depp will continue in his role as Gellert Grindelwald following his cameo in the first film. Ezra Miller and Zoe Kravitz are also returning. Jude Law will join the cast as young Albus Dumbledore, Screen Rant reported.

It is scheduled to hit theaters in November 2018.

Bear wanders into Walmart parking lot in Kentucky

Some late-night shoppers in Kentucky were surprised to  be greeted by a  black bear in the parking lot.

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A bear was spotted in a Walmart parking lot in Somerset around 1:30 a.m. Monday, WLEX reported..

Police and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials were called to the scene to lure the bear into the woods. Until they arrived, several shoppers tried to keep the bear away from the store entrance.

"We seen it running down the sidewalk in front of the outdoor living center outside of Walmart, and me and six other cars tried to block … keep the bear from going towards the customer entrance," Malcolm Stephens told WLEX.

Witnesses said that officials were able to chase the bear behind the store and believe he eventually returned to the woods.

 

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