Volunteer at Arlington

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.

Event Schedule

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


Opening Ceremony

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.

Metro Information

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

Arlington National Cemetery Map

ANC Explorer

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.