Wreaths Across America
Arlington Cemetery Wreath Laying Event
Saturday December 12th 2015
Arlington Cemetery Gates, Metro Hours, and Vehicle Parking Information
On Saturday 12 December 2015, thousands of volunteers will again descend on Arlington National Cemetery to “Remember, Honor, and Teach” in an annual wreath laying event for our veterans buried in the cemetery. Every December since 1992, rain, snow or shine, volunteers have joined the Wreaths Across America organization and placed wreaths on veterans’ graves. In 2013 we placed over 143,000 Remembrance Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Last year, 2014, was the 150th Anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery and WAA had set its goal to cover every marker at Arlington, some 227,000 markers and that goal was reached lasted year.
Wreaths Across America expects even more trucks and wreaths than last year – as many as 40 trucks and over 130,000 wreaths. Good weather brings out plenty of volunteers. However, the weather forecast is something the WAA group can’t control. So, they can use your help! Arlington conducts funerals 6 days a week and can block off only 1 day for this event. In other words, there is no rain/snow/make-up date – it must happen entirely on this single Saturday!
All are welcome to help place wreaths. Simply show up at Arlington National Cemetery – no need to sign up. Families are encouraged to attend.
Get there early, though! Crowds build fast, even well before the gates open. (Those who arrive at the entrances at what they think is “just in time,” often get delayed, arrive to empty trucks, and are unable to place a wreath.)
One final note: Thousands of folks help place the wreaths in December. They all have to be removed in January. If you can, please join Wreaths Across America for the Wreath Cleanup Saturday 23 January 2016. Details will be posted in the WAA blog and Facebook page.
See the map below for an estimate of this year’s coverage.
Click here for Downloadable Instructions On Access, Metro, and Parking
Schedule for Saturday 12th, Dec 2015
|0700||Metro rail opens (system-wide)|
|0800||Arlington National Cemetery Gates open (Visitor Parking Garage opens at 7am for ANC Family Pass and Handicap Pass ONLY)|
|0815-0830 (approx)||Wreaths Across America Truck Convoy arrives Arlington Cemetery Main Gate|
|0900||Wreaths Across America Opening Ceremony (McClellan Arch)|
|0930||Wreath laying begins across cemetery|
|1100||Wreath laying ceremony at President Kennedy’s grave|
|1130||Wreath laying ceremony at USS Maine Mast|
|1200||Wreath laying ceremony at Tomb of Unknown Soldier|
Because of the large number of volunteers and lack of adequate parking, it is highly encouraged to take Metro. In addition to the closest Arlington Cemetery stop (Blue Line), pedestrian accessible gates are just a short walk from Rosslyn (Orange Line)/Iwo Jima Memorial and from both Pentagon and Pentagon City stops (Yellow and Blue Lines).
Unlike previous years and in the interest of pedestrian safety, there is NO GENERAL PUBLIC PARKING ALLOWED IN THE CEMETERY OR IN THE VISITORS PARKING LOT this year except for two exceptions: Handicapped volunteers can park in the Administration Building parking lot (accessible via the Visitors Center lot); Family Members with Passes can park in the Visitors Center lot.
There is parking available in the Eads, Fern, and Joyce lots and a section of Pentagon North Parking. The Eads, Fern and Joyce lots are similar distances from the Service Complex gate. The North Parking Lot is a short 1 mile walk to either the Main or south Service Complex gates (the gate between the AF Memorial and the Pentagon).
Regardless, traffic will clog all the roads around the cemetery, beginning as early as 6 AM.
Finally, there is pedestrian access to the cemetery via two Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall gates – Selfridge (across from the club/bowling alley) and the Old Post Chapel.
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY GATES OPEN FOR PUBLIC ACCESS (clockwise from north)
- Ord-Weitzel (north side) south of the Netherlands Carillon and the Iwo Jima Memorial
- Main (east side) on Memorial Drive by the Women’s Memorial and Visitors Center entrance
- Visitors Center (east side) accessible on west side of Visitor’s Center
- Service Complex (south side) off Columbia Pike between the Air Force and Pentagon Memorials
- West (west side, Ft Myer’s Selfridge Gate), across from the Spates Community Club
- Fort Myer (northwest side, Fort Myer’s Old Post Chapel Gate) adjacent to the Old Post Chapel
Wreaths Across America highly encourages Metro use due to limited parking availability and extremely high traffic volume. There are four Metro stops within a mile of a cemetery gate.
- Rosslyn (north) – Orange & Blue lines – (.7 mi) from Ord-Weitzel gate, via Iwo Jima Memorial
- Arlington Cemetery (east) – Blue line – cemetery’s principal Metro stop
- Pentagon (south) – Yellow & Blue lines – (.7 mi) access through south Service Complex gate
- Pentagon City (south) – Yellow & Blue lines – (.9 mi) access through south Service Complex gate
People with ANC Family Passes WILL NOT be allowed to park inside the cemetery until after 3:00pm. The Cemetery has a 500 car parking garage that opens at 7:00am. In the past, the parking garage line has caused long traffic jams stretching to the Memorial Bridge beginning as early as 6:00am. People with valid Handicap Permits will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds via the Welcome Center Parking Garage rear gate and will be free for those authorized to . ANC is not allowing others to park in the Welcome Center Garage.
Wreaths Across America
Metro Stop Access and Directions
(North to South)
|Metro Stop||Metro Line(s)||Cemetery Entrance||Walking directions|
|Rosslyn||OrangeBlue||Ord-Weitzel(south of Iwo Jima)||Follow signs to Iwo Jima Memorial. Continue south downhill toward the cemetery. Entrance is an iron gate across the street from the end of the Iwo Jima Memorial access road.|
|Arlington Cemetery||Blue||Main||Follow signs to enter via Visitors Center or main gates in front of Women’s Memorial.|
|Pentagon||YellowBlue||Service Complex||Follow signs to Pentagon Memorial; west under S. Washington Blvd. Gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from USAF Memorial.|
|Pentagon City||YellowBlue||Service Complex||Follow signs to Pentagon Memorial. Cross under I-395 via pedestrian tunnel; west under S. Washington Blvd. Gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from USAF Memorial.|
Wreaths Across America
Parking Access, Restrictions, and Directions to Nearest Cemetery Gate
(Clockwise from North)
|Location||CemeteryGate (dist)||Remarks, walking directions|
|Netherlands Carillon/ Iwo Jima Mem.||
|None||Ord-Weitzel(0 mi)||U.S. Park Service Land. NO PARKING ALONG N. MARSHALL DRIVE NETHERLANDS CARILLON VICINITY, OR ALONG IWO JIMA ACCESS ROAD|
|Arlington Cemetery||Main(0 mi)||Follow signs to enter via Visitors Center or main gates in front of Women’s Memorial.|
|N. Boundary Channel Dr.||Main(1.0 mi)||North along S. Washington Blvd to Memorial Drive. Turn left (west) and walk to Cemetery’s Main gates.|
|ServiceComplex(1.0 mi)||South along S. Washington Blvd to Columbia Pike; right (west) on Columbia Pike; gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from USAF Memorial.|
|PentagonHayes St. Lot||
|Army-Navy Drive (Across from Macy’s)||ServiceComplex(.5 mi)||Follow signs to Pentagon Memorial via pedestrian tunnel; west on Columbia Pike; gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from USAF Memorial.|
|PentagonFern St. Lot||
|Army-Navy Drive||ServiceComplex(.7 mi)||Cross under I-395 at Fern St., follow signs to Pentagon Memorial; west on Columbia Pike; gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from USAF Memorial.|
|PentagonEads St. Lot||
|Army-Navy Drive||Service Complex(.8 mi)||Walk west along Army-Navy Drive, cross under I-395 at Fern St, follow signs to Pentagon Memorial; west on Columbia Pike; gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from USAF Memorial.|
* Note: ~3560 spots is an estimate. Most lots are multi-use, public and/or first-come/ first-serve
|Comparable DC Area Trip Distances (in mi)|
|Smithsonian Metro to WWII Memorial||
|Smithsonian Metro to Lincoln Memorial|
|Arlington Metro to Lincoln Memorial||
|Arlington Metro to WWII Memorial|