Visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery will be held on Monday, May 28, 2012 in the Memorial Amphitheater. This year’s observance includes a number of events to honor the fallen, including for the second year, the “Memorial Flowers” gift donation. All events are free and open to the public.

A prelude concert by the United States Army Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 11 a.m. and will be followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to these events and should plan to be seated no later than 9:30 a.m. Arlington will open at 8 a.m.

Free parking is available all day in the Visitors Center parking lot. Overflow parking will be available at the Navy Annex parking lot, located on Southgate Road. A free shuttle service will provide transportation from both locations to the Memorial Amphitheater. DoD ID card holders may park at the Old Post Chapel gate on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and take a free shuttle to the amphitheater. Walking is prohibited.

Attendees will be required to pass through a security checkpoint to gain access to the amphitheater for the official program. Items prohibited on the premises include: Large bags and backpacks, firearms and weapons of any type, laser pointers, aerosol containers, soda cans, umbrellas, coolers, picnic baskets, tripods, lighters, personal protection sprays, insulated beverage containers and anything that could potentially be used as a weapon.

Attendees are encouraged to bring clear plastic refillable water bottles. There will be water stations near Memorial Amphitheater for ceremony attendees to refill their water bottles. This Memorial Day, visitors to Arlington National Cemetery will have a special way to remember and honor a loved one or a fallen hero thanks to a donation of 50,000 long stemmed roses. Californian and Ecuadorian flower farms donated the roses for Memorial Day as a way to show their appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Visitors are encouraged to take two roses – one to place on the grave of a loved one and one to take home in memory of that person. Roses will be distributed at four locations at Arlington National Cemetery: near the Memorial Amphitheater shuttle drop off/pick up location; Section 60, one of the burial sections for the fallen heroes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; and two locations at the Visitors Center.

For listing of Memorial Weekend events, please go to