Memorial Day is a day to honor our nation's heroes in solemn remembrance. It is a sacred day for us to reflect on the sacrifice of our fallen service members.
Each year, more than 135,000 people visit Arlington National Cemetery over Memorial Day weekend. The high volume of visitors may create traffic congestion and delays on nearby streets and at the cemetery’s entrances. If you are planning a visit over the holiday weekend, please review the following access instructions and tips, and listing of scheduled events.
Flags line Columbarium Court 2 at Arlington National Cemetery for Flags-In, May 25, 2017. Over 280,000 U.S. flags are placed at each headstone in the cemetery before Memorial Day. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser, Arlington National Cemetery)
There are four gates into Arlington National Cemetery:
- Memorial Gate and main entrance (1 Memorial Avenue, Arlington, Virginia)
- Service Complex Gate (Columbia Pike) – Google Maps code: 87C4VWCP+8H
- Ord & Weitzel Gate (near U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial) – Google Maps code: 87C4VWQJ+4W
- Old Post Chapel Gate (from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall) – you must be able to access Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall to use this gate.
Please note: The Service Complex Gate is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Memorial, Ord & Weitzel and Old Post Chapel gates are open daily, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Arlington Cemetery Metro station is just outside the main entrance. The Service Complex Gate is about a 15-20 minute walk from the Pentagon or Pentagon City Metro stations and the Ord & Weitzel Gate is about a 15-20 minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro station. There is a taxi stand outside the main entrance.
Additional Information for Family Pass Holders
Family pass holders can enter the cemetery via personal vehicle or on foot during the cemetery’s open hours (8 a.m.-7 p.m.) throughout the weekend.
For family pass holders entering by foot, please review the “General Public” access information.
In an effort to reduce wait times for family pass holders arriving by personal vehicle, family pass holders may also enter the cemetery from the Service Complex Gate or Ord & Weitzel Gate on Memorial Day, May 28, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Memorial Gate, our main entrance, will be open to family pass holders from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. that day. Address information to each gate is above.
Some sections around the Memorial Amphitheater will be closed to vehicular traffic during the National Memorial Day Observance. Family pass holders will have to park outside of the no-drive zone and walk to the gravesite. For guests with mobility issues, we recommend arriving at the cemetery after 1 p.m. that day.
Please note: Family passes may not be used to park inside Arlington National Cemetery and walk to the Memorial Day ceremony or to visit any other notable sites. To attend the ceremony or visit any other area on the grounds, all family pass holders must either arrive on foot or park in the parking garage before boarding the tram at the Welcome Center.
Additional Information for the General Public
Members of the public can arrive via foot at Memorial or Ord & Weitzel Gate (open daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m.), or at the Service Complex Gate (open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). The Old Post Chapel Gate (open daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m.) is also available to visitors with a Department of Defense identification card and access to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
Members of the public can arrive by personal vehicle at Memorial Gate and park in the parking garage. The parking garage is first-come, first-served, and may be full during peak times over the weekend.
Visitors are urged to take public transportation over the Memorial Day weekend as the high volume of visitors may create traffic congestion and delays on nearby streets and at the cemetery’s entrances.
On Memorial Day, May 28, visitors wishing to attend the wreath-laying or National Memorial Day Observance must arrive via Memorial Gate or the Old Post Chapel Gate on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (if you are coming to the cemetery to visit other locations, you may arrive via any open gate). A free shuttle service will provide transportation to the Memorial Amphitheater beginning at 8 a.m. Walking to the amphitheater is prohibited. After the observance, shuttles will provide transportation back to the Welcome Center or Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall until 1 p.m.
A full listing of official events happening at Arlington National Cemetery in support of Memorial Day are below. All events are open to the public to attend. If you are interested in participating in an event, please reach out to the organization direct.
If you are a member of the media and interested in covering an event, please contact the public affairs office at firstname.lastname@example.org. All media must be escorted on cemetery grounds at all times.
Please note: all links are provided for information only. No endorsement is implied.
Sunday, May 20
The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at President John F. Kennedy’s grave in Section 45 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.rpcvw.org/.
Wednesday, May 23
The 173rd Airborne Brigade Association will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the 173rd Airborne Brigade Memorial Tree in Section 33 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.skysoldier.net/.
Thursday, May 24
In what is known as “Flags In,” Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment will place U.S. flags at the final resting place of all those interred or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery, starting at 1 p.m. The public is invited to watch as Soldiers work their way through the cemetery, but only Old Guard Soldiers will be able to place flags. Please note: the Old Guard Soldiers will start placing flags in sections west of Eisenhower Drive. They will not place flags below Eisenhower Drive until after all funerals have concluded (typically around 4 p.m.). If you are coming to the cemetery to watch Flags In, please be mindful of any funerals going on and give families privacy.
Saturday, May 26
The Women In Military Service For America Memorial, located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, will have a variety of programs going on throughout the Memorial Day weekend starting May 26 including special exhibits, film screenings and other activities. For more information, visit https://www.womensmemorial.org/events.
Rolling Thunder’s annual Run for the Wall participants will arrive at the cemetery on motorcycles and conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beginning at 9 a.m. If you would like to participate as a rider, or learn more about the event, visit https://rftw.us/.
The American Legion Riders will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tanner Amphitheater in Section 26 beginning at 1 p.m. If you would like to participate as a rider, or know more about the event, visit http://www.alrrollingthunder.com/.
The Special Forces Brotherhood Motorcycle Club will arrive at the cemetery on motorcycles and conduct a Memorial Day event in Section 60 beginning at 10 a.m. If you would like to participate as a rider, or know more about the event, visit http://specialforcesmc.info/.
The Native Youth Alliance will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Indigenous People Memorial Tree in Section 8 at 11 a.m. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/395315720935758/.
Sunday, May 27
The Japanese American Citizens League of Washington, D.C., and Japanese American Veterans Association will conduct its 70th annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Pavilion in the Columbarium Courts in Section 63 at 9:30 a.m. For more information, visit https://jacl-dc.org/calendar/.
Volunteers interested in helping Memorial Day Flowers Foundation lay roses at headstones are meeting at noon. For more information, visit https://memorialdayflowers.org.
Monday, May 28
Volunteers interested in helping Memorial Day Flowers Foundation lay roses at headstones are meeting at 8 a.m. For more information, visit https://memorialdayflowers.org.
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to be followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Defense in the Memorial Amphitheater. For more details visit https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/News/Post/4564/. Media interested in covering the wreath-laying or National Memorial Day Observance must register by 2 p.m., Thursday, May 24 to email@example.com.
Twenty and Four, the Honor Society of Women Legionnaires, will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Civil War Tomb of the Unknown in Section 26 at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://twentyandfour.org/.
Tuesday, May 29
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will host an Armed Forces Full Honors wreath-laying ceremony in honor of President John F. Kennedy at the Kennedy gravesite in Section 45 at 10 a.m.
Wednesday, May 30
The Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tanner Amphitheater in Section 26 at 5 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.suvcw.org/.
For more information on any of the Memorial Day weekend events or access procedures, please call 1-877-907-8585. Please note that line is staffed Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time. During off-duty hours, a voicemail can be left and someone will get back with you during business hours.