Arlington National Cemetery Modifies Funeral Operations


ARLINGTON, VA – Arlington National Cemetery is continuing its primary mission during this national emergency—burying our nation's veterans, service members and their families. In coordination with the military services, ANC is modifying funeral operations to ensure the protection and health of the public, of the service members who perform military honors and of the ANC workforce, so as to maintain operational readiness.

Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, all eligible service members and veterans who are buried at ANC will receive military funeral honors. Military funeral honors with escort are curtailed until further notice.

The elements of military funeral honors include: a casket team (body bearers/pallbearers, usually six service members); a firing party (seven service members); a bugler (one bandsman); folding and presentation of the U.S. flag (same personnel from casket team); a non-commissioned officer or officer in charge; and a chaplain if requested by the family. These 16 personnel will perform their mission with the appropriate level of social distancing. Dependent honors remain unchanged.

“In close collaboration with Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, Commanding General, Military District of Washington, and also serving as the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region Commander, we are taking action to best protect our military and civilian forces and the public, while continuing to serve our veterans and families.   ANC will be notifying families in advance of the change in honors, so that they have the opportunity to reschedule their service to a later date if desired,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director, Office of Army Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery.

Additionally, Arlington National Cemetery kindly requests that families limit funeral attendance at each service during this unique time. Because of the number of service members required to provide military funeral honors, limiting funerals to a minimal number of guests in this social setting is necessary for compliance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD) guidance against large gatherings of people.

Charles R. Alexander Jr., Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, stated, “We are taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of our service members, civilian personnel and funeral attendees. In our day- to-day operations, we will continue to follow CDC and DoD guidance. We will work diligently with each family to accommodate their needs. We will continually assess conditions and return to normal military funeral operations as quickly as possible.”

Arlington National Cemetery continues to comply with DoD directives and supplemental “Force Health Protection Guidance for the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak” and has implemented risk-based measures consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

Family members who have questions regarding their upcoming scheduled funeral or who wish to reschedule a service should contact 1-877- 907-8585.

For more information or to confirm a funeral service will be conducted, please visit our website at: