Section 60 Mementos

Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where many veterans of recent wars are buried

For service members killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and interred in Section 60, Arlington National Cemetery has been conducting a program to address families’ desires to leave mementos at their loved one’s gravesite, and to ensure the safeguarding of historically significant items. The ANC History Office is responsible for the collection effort. In the early morning hours on the second and fourth Friday of each month, History Office representatives photograph and collect objects determined to have unusual, artistic or historical value. Objects collected under the program guidelines are stored at Fort Belvoir, VA.

To facilitate normal cemetery maintenance procedures, ANC personnel will collect and dispose of items not collected by ANC History Office representatives. During the turf growing season (April 15-October 9), the cemetery will remove items which impede frequent mowing and trimming; during the non-growing season (October 10-April 14), the cemetery will follow the grounds maintenance practice of immediately removing any items that are affixed to headstones or pose a safety hazard to visitors and staff, but will allow small photographs and small handcrafted items to remain until they become unsightly. If family members or visitors wish to keep specific items, please collect these items prior to the second and fourth Friday of each month. It is important for family members and visitors to understand that the government does not assume any responsibility for damaged or missing items left in the cemetery.

The cemetery continues to ask visitors not to leave items that present a safety or health concern. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: ammunition, alcohol, knives or sharp objects, statues, vigil lights, flags, glass objects of any nature, and any type of commemorative items — except for U.S. flags placed on gravesites by government employees for Memorial Day. Additionally, visitors are not allowed to affix items to government-furnished markers. These items will be collected and discarded.  

If you have questions concerning this information, please contact the ANC Operations Officer or the ANC Chief of Staff at (877) 907-8585.