It is written, that "for everything, there is a season" and the remembrance wreaths graciously placed on the headstones of our nation's fallen need to be respectfully removed by volunteers. Once again, dedicated individuals are asked to join in the effort to pick up the wreaths in honor of our veterans.
Wreath Retirement Day (clean up) is set for Saturday, January 28, 2017, at Arlington National Cemetery.
National Wreaths Across America Day 2016 was a remarkable event across the nation where many locations endured harsh weather conditions, and Arington National Cemetery was no exception. Despite freezing rain, an estimated 44,000 volunteers placed 245,000 remembrance wreaths, and many hands on January 28th will make quick work of picking up those wreaths.
"God willing, and the weatherman too, we won't have to postpone like we did last year when we got 23 inches of snow," recalls volunteer Location Coordinator at Arlington and Chairman of the Board for Wreaths Across America, Wayne Hanson. "Just dress appropriately for the weather and come out and join us for another experience at Arlington."
Wreath Retirement Day Schedule for Arlington National Cemetery:
8:00 AM: All Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) pedestrian gates open
8:00 AM: 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 3:00 PM.)
8:30 AM: Brief Volunteer Instructional Briefing at McClellan Gate located just off Eisenhower Drive between Section 33 and 12, on McClellan Drive
8:45 AM: Wreath clean-up begins
Wreath Retirement 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 it if our volunteers could stay at least until 12:00 Noon, to help with any extra wreath disposal needed at locations throughout the cemetery.
"The wreath-laying tradition of Wreaths Across America extends beyond our work in December," explains Karen Worcester, WAA Executive Director. "Retiring the wreaths in January is a big part of that process, and we see this as another opportunity for thousands of people to again come together to remember, honor and teach and say their names aloud."
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Volunteers planning to assist in removing wreaths are asked to attend a short briefing at the McClellan Gate at 8:30 a.m. and to follow these guidelines.
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