Thank you for your interest in helping with the clean-up of Remembrance Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. The removal of wreaths will take place this Saturday, February 13, 2016.There is no sign-up or registration required to participate. Just show up at the designated time and place. The same plan will be in place, we are just shifting the event by one week.
Any funerals scheduled for Saturday will proceed. We ask all volunteers to respect the families’ honoring and mourning their loved ones. Do not remove wreaths in any area near a funeral service. Please be courteous to vehicle traffic moving to and from a funeral service. Families and friends attending a funeral service are advised to notify security personnel they are attending a funeral in order to be routed to the correct meeting place. Funeral attendees will be allowed to park at the cemetery administration building.
PARKING--The ANC Welcome Center Parking Lot will open at 8:00am. and will have free parking until 2:00pm. Only vehicles with Permanent ANC Family Gravesite Passes and those with valid Handicap Permits will be allowed to park at Welcome Center Parking Lot. 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 8:00a.m. 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.
GATES--All ANC pedestrian gates will open at 8:00am. Clockwise from north these gates include the Ord-Weitzel gate (near the Iwo Jima Memorial and Rosslyn Metro), the main cemetery and the Welcome Center gates (nearest Arlington Cemetery Metro), the south Maintenance Complex gate (nearest Pentagon and Pentagon City Metro, and the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel gate. PLEASE NOTE - the maintenance gate will close at 2:00pm on Saturday; so if you want to exit via the maintenance gate, please make sure you do so before 2:00pm.
VEHICLE ACCESS--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.
METRO--If you use the Metro Rail System, here are some helpful hints to make the trip easier:
1. Use a SmarTrip card for a Round Trip (they cost the same as a paper fare card and are reusable)
2. Buy your SmarTrip card in advance to avoid delays. You can purchase at any station or online at http://wmata.com/fares/smartrip/
3. Visitors and volunteers should expect long lines and crowed conditions when entering and leaving the Arlington Cemetery Station.
VOLUNTEER BRIEFING--At 8:30am there will be a short Volunteer Instructional Briefing at the McClellan Arch Gate located just off Eisenhower Drive between Section 33 and 12, on McClellan Drive. Wreath clean-up will start at approximately 8:45am. 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. We have a very limited number of dumpsters available so we ask the volunteers to pack the wreaths as tight as possible in the dumpsters and to stay available at least until 12:00 Noon, if possible, to help with any extra wreath disposal needed at locations throughout the cemetery.
TIPS--We have found it helpful if you bring a stick, pole, rope, rake or something equivalent to support carrying multiple wreaths per dumpster trip. Please dress for the weather and wear gloves and water-proof footwear.
On April 12, 1945, while escorting bombers to Sankt Veit, Austria during World War II, two P-51 Mustangs piloted by 2nd Lt. James L. Hall Jr. and 2nd Lt. Samuel G. Leftenant (both Tuskegee Airmen) collided.
Hall bailed from his damaged P-51 before it crashed and became a prisoner of war. Leftenant was never seen again. He was reported "Missing-In-Action" on April 12, 1945 and was declared dead in 1946. 2nd Lt. Leftenant was posthumously awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.
A full military honors memorial service for 2LT Samuel G. Leftenant will be held in Memorial Section K at the north end of the cemetery, on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 9:00 AM. The service is open to the public.
Recent media reports have incorrectly claimed that Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) were eligible for inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery. WASPs have never been eligible either for inurnment or burial at Arlington. The service of Women Air Force Service Pilots during World War II is highly commendable and, while certainly worthy of recognition, it does not, in itself, reach the level of Active Duty service required for inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery.
The confusion is caused, in part, by Public Law 95-202 Section 401, which authorized the Secretary of Defense to declare that certain groups be considered active duty for the purpose of allowing certain Veterans Affairs benefits, which include burial and inurnment at national cemeteries maintained by VA.
Arlington is not administered by the VA, and its eligibility criteria are far more stringent, due to space limitations. Burial space at Arlington National Cemetery is ultimately finite. Based upon current demand and capacity, Arlington will exhaust interment and inurnment space for any Active Duty service member or veteran in the next 20 years, by the mid 2030's. As stewards of these hallowed grounds, we remain committed to maintaining Arlington as an active cemetery for as long as possible to continue to honor and serve our Nation’s military heroes.
Arlington National Cemetery’s administration prior to 2010 erred when they granted eligibility for some WASPs, misinterpreting the 1977 Public Law 95-202 without legal counsel. The Secretary of the Army clarified eligibility in 2015, and directed that those mistakenly inurned, through no fault of their own, would remain in their final burial location.
***THIS EXHIBIT IS CURRENTLY UNDER RENOVATION AND SHOULD REOPEN SOON***
A new exhibit has opened at Arlington National Cemetery. The “Then & Now” photo illustration exhibit blends historic photos of the cemetery with modern ones.
This exhibit explores how although clothing, landscape and times may have changed, the traditions carried on today at Arlington National Cemetery connect the present with the past.
This exhibit runs from December 12, 2015 through February 2016. It is location in the lower level of the Memorial Amphitheater, near the restrooms.
Arlington National Cemetery has begun enhanced security measures for those who work at or visit the cemetery. Visitors, employees and contractors will be subject to random inspections and may be required to present a valid government identification when entering cemetery. Visitors may see armed personnel inside buildings and on the grounds of the cemetery.
"Arlington is taking additional security precautions to protect visitors, family members and staff. We are asking people to report suspicious activity - if you see something, say something," said Patrick K. Hallinan, Arlington National Cemetery Executive Director.
Please call Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Department of Emergency Services at 703-588-2800 to report suspicious activity. Call 9-1-1 for emergency situations.