Want to participate at Arlington?
Help place Veterans' Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our American heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, December 17, 2016
Thank you for your interest in helping with the placement of Remembrance Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, December 17, 2016.
There is no sign-up required, and there is no age limit—simply show up if you would like to participate. We encourage families to come together.
Additionally, event details will be available on this page, and on the following Facebook pages:
Please check out the “Events” tab on these links for all the details.
7:00AM: Metro rail opens (system-wide)
8:00AM: Arlington National Cemetery Gates open (Visitor Parking Garage opens at 8am for ANC Family Pass and Handicap Pass ONLY)
8:15-8:30AM: Wreaths Across America Truck Convoy arrives Arlington Cemetery Main Gate (time is approximate)
9:30AM: Wreaths Across America Opening Ceremony (McClellan Gate)
10:00AM: Wreath laying begins across cemetery
Join us at the McClellan Gate located just off of Eisenhower Drive, on McClellan Drive, between Sections 33 and 12 on Saturday, December 17, 2016, at 9:30AM for the Opening Ceremony. The public will be allowed entry to the cemetery at 8:00AM. The ceremony will provide some introductory remarks and a short briefing to provide basic information to volunteers. It is not necessary to attend the opening ceremony to be able to place wreaths. If you would like, you can proceed to any truck in any section of the cemetery and await the 10:00 AM start.
Laying the Wreaths
After the ceremony, volunteers will move to the trucks located throughout the cemetery where they will participate in the laying of wreaths on headstones beginning at 10:00AM. We want to remind you that when you place the wreath, you may be the first person to visit that particular grave in years, so we hope you will take time to read the stone and honor the memory of that hero. Our theme for this year is to “#SayTheirNames.”
NOTE: Until 2:00pm, only those with handicapped permits and family passes will be allowed to park at Arlington National Cemetery in the Welcome Center Parking Garage, Instead, please park elsewhere and walk or use the Metro Rail system.
Due to the potentially high number of volunteers that may be present, parking at the ANC Welcome Center Main Gate Parking Facility will be very restricted for safety reasons and concerns. There will be in excess of 60 semi-tractor trucks loaded with wreaths and thousands of volunteers located throughout the cemetery which prohibits shuttle vehicle traffic within the cemetery grounds on Wreath Day.
Authorized ANC Family Pass holders and vehicles with valid Handicap Permits will be permitted to park in the Welcome Center Parking Garage. (Those with Handicap Permits will later be directed out into the Cemetery itself through the Administration Building gate to park in the Administrative Parking lot adjacent to Section 54, which is a more level section of grave sites within the cemetery that is more suited for individuals with mobility restrictions.) In addition, we expect to have access to some of the parking lots at the Pentagon.
Parking Restrictions at ANC
- No private vehicles will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00pm on Wreath Day
- No General Public parking at the Welcome Center until after 2:00pm on Wreath Day
- Bus parking will be available in the Welcome Center garage for 33 buses
Arlington officials have increased cemetery access security which will be in effect on Wreath Day. Expect random bag inspections and other related increased security screening to happen much as those that occur at major sports events and stadiums. We suggest you leave large bags, knapsacks, etc, at home or in your vehicle.
In addition, food and drinks are not allowed on cemetery grounds. (Bottled water is okay.)
Please Note: All wreaths delivered to Arlington National Cemetery are for placement at Arlington National Cemetery. Once they arrive at the gates all wreaths become property of the U.S. Government and should not be removed from the grounds.
We highly encourage Metro use, as parking within the cemetery itself will be very restricted. While the Arlington Cemetery Station on the Blue Line stops at the cemetery entrance, you can also access various parts of the Cemetery from the Rosslyn, Pentagon, and Pentagon City stops via only a short walk. To support our Metro-traveling volunteers, we will have multiple gates open to provide pedestrian access to the Cemetery.
There will be two pedestrian-access gates at Arlington Cemetery that are near Metro stations. They are about a mile walk from the Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon and Pentagon City stations. If arriving from Rosslyn, use the Ord & Weitzel gate on the cemetery’s north side, just south of the USMC Memorial (“Iwo Jima”). For access from the Pentagon and Pentagon City stops, walk to the south maintenance access gate on the south side, between the Air Force and Pentagon Memorials.
SERVICE ADVISORY from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:
Orange Line trains will continuously single track between West Falls Church and East Falls Church from November 28 through December 21, 2016.
- Orange Line trains will run every 16 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton
- Additional Orange Line trains will run from East Falls Church to New Carrollton
- Silver Line trains will run every 16 minutes
- Expect crowding on Orange/Silver line trains
- Orange/Silver customers should consider alternate travel options and travel outside of rush-hour periods if possible
Metro will run free shuttle buses from Pentagon to Arlington Cemetery to help with the lines at Arlington Cemetery station. They will operate from 8am-1:30pm.
Arlington National Cemetery Map
Arlington National Cemetery's app, ANC Explorer, enables families, visitors and the public to locate gravesites, events or other points of interest throughout the cemetery; view front-and-back headstone photos and points of interest; and receive directions to these locations. The latest version also includes self-guided tours, easy access to general information, and provides the ability to save searched burial records to a mobile device.
Download the free app to your mobile device using the App Store or Google Play. Launch ANC Explorer here if using a traditional desktop browser. The app is also available for public use on kiosks at the cemetery.
Wreath Retrieval/Clean-Up Day
Join us on Saturday, January 28, 2017 for Wreath Retrieval/Clean-up Day!
There is no sign-up or registration required to participate. This is a family oriented event and we encourage families of all ages to participate. Just show up at the designated time and place!
CLEAN-UP DAY SCHEDULE:
8:00AM: All Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) pedestrian gates open
8:00AM: ANC Welcome Center Parking Lot opens (only vehicles with handicap permits and Permanent ANC Family Gravesite permits will be allowed to park in the Welcome Center. Parking is free until 3:00PM.)
8:30AM: Brief Volunteer Instructional Briefing at McClellan Gate located just off Eisenhower Drive between Section 33 and 12, on McClellan Drive
8:45AM: Wreath clean-up begins
CLEAN-UP DAY NOTES:
- 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. There are a limited number of dumpsters available—please pack the wreaths as tightly as possible in the dumpsters
- We'd love if our volunteers could stay at least until 12:00 noon, to help with any extra wreath disposal needed at locations throughout the cemetery.
For additional parking, Metro rail, and pedestrian access information, see below.
Parking at the ANC Welcome Center
- The ANC Welcome Center Parking Lot will open at 8:00AM and will have free parking until 3:00PM.
- 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 8:00AM 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.
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.
ANC Pedestrian Gates
All ANC pedestrian gates will open at 8:00AM. Clockwise from north these gates include:
- Ord-Weitzel Gate (near the Iwo Jima Memorial and Rosslyn Metro)
- Main Cemetery and the Welcome Center Gates (nearest Arlington Cemetery Metro)
- South Maintenance Complex Gate (nearest Pentagon and Pentagon City Metro (PLEASE NOTE: the maintenance gate will close at 2:00PM on Saturday; if you want to exit via the maintenance gate, please make sure you do so before 2:00PM.
- Fort Myer Old Post Chapel Gate
Metro Rail System Tips:
- Use a SmarTrip card for a Round Trip
- 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/
- Visitors and volunteers should expect long lines and crowded conditions when entering and leaving the Arlington Cemetery Station.