Thank you for your interest in helping with the placement of Veterans’ Remembrance Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) on Saturday, December 16th, 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 on the WAA Web page at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org by following the “Volunteer” tab instructions.
There is no age limit to volunteer. We encourage families to come and share the experience.
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.
For those wanting to observe the arrival of the Annual Wreath Escort, which will arrive at approximately 7:45 AM on Saturday, ANC will begin their screening process at 7:00 AM 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 8:15 AM. All gates into Arlington Cemetery grounds will be opened to the general public at 8:30 AM after all Wreaths Convoy Trucks have been staged. Wreath placement will begin at 9:15 AM.
If you are interested in attending, there will be special wreath layings conducted at the Columbarium at 10:00 AM; at the President William F. Taft Monument in Section 30 at 10:30 AM; at the President John F. Kennedy Memorial in Section 45 at 11:00 AM; at the USS Battleship Maine Monument in Section 24 at 11:30AM; and a formal Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 12 PM (noon).
Again 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 7:00 AM 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 3:00 PM on Wreath Day. There will be no General Public parking at the Welcome Center until after 1:00 PM 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 7:00 AM.
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.
Specific Gravesites - As for being able to place a wreath on a specific gravesite, we expect tens of thousands of volunteers on Wreath Day and it would be impossible to “save” a particular gravesite 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 8:30 AM and wreath placement will start at 9:15 AM. Prior to 9:15 AM, have the person with you go directly to your interested gravesite to stand by the site. Then you go to the closest wreath truck for that section to receive 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. 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.
I hope this information is helpful and is responsive to your immediate concerns.
Please keep checking the Wreaths Across America website www.wreathsacrossamerica.org and the Arlington Wreath’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/ArlingtonWreaths and www.facebook.com/WAAHQ for additional information.
You can also help us to Remember and Honor our veterans buried at Arlington by going to the www.wreathsacrossamerica.org to sponsor a wreath or two. The cost is only $15 per wreath, a small price to honor and remember those who have given us our freedoms with their sacrifices. Remember, WAA receives no government funds and must rely on donations and wreath sponsorships to carry out its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.
Again, I thank you for your interest and support!
Arlington Wreath Project Coordinator
Chairman of the Board, Wreaths Across America