WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA MAKES SECOND POSTPONEMENT TO ARLINGTON “WREATH RETIREMENT” (CLEAN-UP) EVENT DUE TO STORM
Excessive snow and pressure on snow removal services has forced a second postponement of the wreath cleanup at Arlington National Cemetery. The new date for “Retiring of the Wreaths” is set for Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.
In a statement by Wreaths Across America Chairman and Arlington Location Coordinator Wayne Hanson, he explained that “there is just so much snow and the crews are already working around the clock to open up the grounds and make them safe for visitors. It is not fair to them, or our volunteers, to put on the additional strain of preparing for our event before it is safe.
“In addition, retiring the wreaths on the 13th enables us to avoid disrupting funeral services at the cemetery. Because it is a holiday weekend, there are no burials scheduled for that Saturday, helping us minimize our impact on cemetery operations.”
Hanson added, “We want to thank everyone for being patient and hope our many volunteers will adjust their schedules to join us on the 13th. Retiring the wreaths is every bit as much a sign of respect, as the day we place them.”
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For volunteers seeking information about how to volunteer on Saturday, February 13th, 2016:
The ANC Welcome Center Parking Lot will open at 8:00am. and will have free parking until 2:00pm. Only vehicles with Permanent ANC Family Gravesite Passes and those with valid Handicap Permits will be allowed to park at Welcome Center Parking Lot. Vehicles with Handicap Parking Permits will be accommodated in the ANC Administrative Building Parking Lot, until it reaches capacity. All Vehicles with ANC Family Passes and Handicap Permits will be accommodated in the ANC parking garage, until it reaches capacity. Any vehicles arriving before the cemetery’s opening at 8:00a.m. will be required to depart and return at 8:00am. There will be Bus parking available in the Welcome Center garage for approximately 33 buses.
All ANC pedestrian gates will open at 8:00am. Clockwise from north these gates include the Ord-Weitzel gate (near the Iwo Jima Memorial and Rosslyn Metro), the main cemetery and the Welcome Center gates (nearest Arlington Cemetery Metro), the south Maintenance Complex gate (nearest Pentagon and Pentagon City Metro, and the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel gate. PLEASE NOTE – the maintenance gate will close at 2:00pm on Saturday; so if you want to exit via the maintenance gate, please make sure you do so before 2:00pm.
For the safety of all involved, no private vehicles will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00pm on Wreath Clean-up Day. There will be no General Public parking at the Welcome Center Parking Lot until after 3:00pm on Wreath Clean-up Day. Due to the limited and restricted parking requirements, we encourage volunteers to use the Metro Rail system.
If you use the Metro Rail System, here are some helpful hints to make the trip easier:
1. Use a SmarTrip card for a Round Trip (they cost the same as a paper fare card and are reusable)
2. Buy your SmarTrip card in advance to avoid delays – not on Saturday morning. You can purchase at any station or online at http://wmata.com/fares/smartrip/ .
3. Visitors and volunteers should expect long lines and crowed conditions when entering and leaving the Arlington Cemetery Station.
At 8:30am there will be a short Volunteer Instructional Briefing at the McClellan Arch Gate located just off Eisenhower Drive between Section 33 and 12, on McClellan Drive. Wreath clean-up will start at approximately 8:45am. Volunteers are asked to pick up ONLY those WAA wreaths placed in December leaving any other wreaths or decorations in place. There will be several dumpsters placed throughout the cemetery to dispose of the wreaths. We have a very limited number of dumpsters available so we ask the volunteers to pack the wreaths as tight as possible in the dumpsters and to stay available at least until 12:00 Noon, if possible, to help with any extra wreath disposal needed at locations throughout the cemetery.
We have found it helpful if you bring a stick, pole, rope, rake or something equivalent to support carrying multiple wreaths per dumpster trip. Please dress for the weather and wear gloves and water-proof footwear.
If you are interested in the latest updates and notifications about the wreath-laying and clean-up events at Arlington we encourage you to sign up for our Arlington updates e-mail list at https://tineyletter.com/WreathsForArlington, Also, follow us at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org, and on the Arlington Wreaths’ facebook pages atwww.facebook.com/ArlingtonWreaths and www.facebook.com/WAAHQ, as well as on ANC’s web page atwww.arlingtoncemetery.mil, for updates and details.
Again, we thank you for your patience, interest and support.
Wayne Hanson – WAA Chairman of the Board
Arlington Wreath Project Coordinator