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 16, 2017
Thank you for your interest in helping with the placement of Veterans’ Remembrance Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
There is no sign-up or registration required for you or your family to participate. However, if you are interested in receiving the latest updates and notifications about the wreath-laying events at Arlington we encourage you to register your name and email address to volunteer.
There is no sign-up or registration required for you or your family to participate. However, if you are interested in receiving the latest updates and notifications about the wreath-laying events at Arlington we encourage you to register your name and email address to volunteer. We encourage families to come and share the experience.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
7:00 AM- Screening Process will begin at the ANC
7:45 AM- Wreaths Across America Convoy Arrives
8:15 AM- Opening Ceremony at the Women In
Military Service for America Memorial
8:30 AM- All gates into the cemetery grounds will
be opened to the general public
9:15 AM- Wreath Placement will begin
SPECIAL WREATH LAYING EVENTS
10:00 AM- Columbarium
10:30 AM- President William F. Taft Monument
11:00 AM- President John F. Kennedy Memorial
11:30 AM- USS Battleship Maine Monument
12:00 NOON- Formal Wreath Ceremony at the
Tomb of the Unknowns
7:00AM - The ANC Welcome Center Parking Garage will open but will be restricted to only those with official ANC Family Passes and those with valid Handicap Permits. There will be no general public parking available until after 1:00PM. No vehicles will be allowed into the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00PM.
Wreath Truck Convoy
For those wanting to observe the arrival of the Wreath Truck Convoy, which will arrive at approximately 7:45am on Saturday, ANC will begin their screening process at 7:00am at the ANC Welcome Center. Those screened early will be directed to holding areas near the Opening Ceremony location which will be held in front of the Women In Military Service for America Memorial at the end of Memorial Drive starting at 8:15am. All gates into Arlington Cemetery grounds will be opened to the general public at 8:30am after all Wreaths Convoy Trucks have been staged. Wreath placement will begin at 9:15am.
Join us on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 8:15 AM for the Opening Ceremony which will be held in front of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at the end of Memorial Drive near the main gates to Arlington Cemetery. The ceremony will include some brief introductory remarks and provide some information and instructions to the volunteers. It is NOT necessary to attend the Opening Ceremony in order to participate in placing wreaths.
Laying the Wreaths
All gates into the Cemetery will open at 8:30AM to allow volunteers to enter the grounds and move to any section they wish to help. There will be 65 wreath trucks located throughout the Cemetery which will open for wreath distribution at 9:15AM.
PLEASE NOTE: The wreaths sponsored, donated and delivered to Arlington National Cemetery become "government property" once they arrive into the cemetery. They are NOT TO BE REMOVED from the cemetery for placement at any other location.
Also, the ANC cemetery officials, out of respect and understanding of the beliefs and traditions of the Jewish Faith, have asked that volunteers be advised to not place a Remembrance Wreath on any marker which has the Jewish Religious symbol of the Star of David on it. However, we ask that you still pause, read and say the name of that veteran to thank them for their service and sacrifices. If you do see a Jewish marker with a wreath on it, assume that a family member placed it there and do not remove it.
NOTE: Until 1:00pm, 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.
For the safety of all involved, parking at the ANC Welcome Center Main Gate Parking Garage will be very restricted. ANC officials have advised that the ANC Welcome Center Garage will open at 7:00am on Saturday, December 16, 2017. However, only those with an authorized ANC Family Pass and vehicles with valid Handicap Permits will be allowed to park at the 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, a level section of grave sites more suited for individuals with mobility restrictions. There will be Bus parking available in the Welcome Center Garage for 33 buses on a first come basis. No private vehicles will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00pm on Wreath Day. There will be no General Public parking at the Welcome Center until after 1:00pm on Wreath Day.
Due to the limited and restricted parking requirements, we encourage volunteers to park elsewhere and use the Blue Line Metro Rail system to the Arlington Cemetery Station stop or other nearby stations in Rosslyn or Pentagon. The Metro Rail System will open at 7:00am.
Parking Restrictions at ANC
- No private vehicles will be allowed to enter the Cemetery grounds until after 3:00 pm on Wreath Day
- No General Public parking at the Welcome Center until after 1:00 pm on Wreath Day
- Bus parking will be available in the Welcome Center garage for 33 buses
Due to the potentially high number of volunteers that may be present and for safety reasons and concerns, ANC officials have implemented some increased security requirements and screening which will be in effect on Wreath Day. You can expect random bag inspections and other related security screening to occur. It is suggested that you leave any large bags, knapsacks, etc, at home or in your vehicles.
In addition, food and drinks are not allowed on cemetery grounds. (Bottled water is okay.)
Specific Grave Sites
As for being able to place a wreath on a specific grave site, we expect tens of thousands of volunteers on Wreath Day and it would be impossible to "save" a particular grave site for a person to place a wreath. Our best suggestion would be for you to bring a friend or relative with you to Arlington on the 16th. The Cemetery will be open to the Public at 8:30am and wreath placement will start at 9:15am. Prior to 9:15am, have the person with you go directly to your interested grave site to stand by the site. Then you go to the closest wreath truck for that section to await receiving a wreath. Should another volunteer come up to place a wreath on that site, the person standing by the site could request the volunteer to move to another grave as you will be bringing a wreath for that site. That's the best we can do. Please note ANC officials request that only one wreath be placed on each marker as in those instances of dual burials, the remains are placed on the front side of the marker.
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, 2017.
- 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 20, 2018 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: Opening Ceremony- 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.