Wreaths Across America retirement is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, beginning at approximately 8:45 a.m., in Arlington National Cemetery. All cemetery gates will open at 8 a.m.
The cemetery will be closed to vehicle traffic until 3 p.m. ANC Tours, Arlington’s interpretative bus tour, will not operate this day. This is a walking event. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring refillable water bottles.
Sign-up and pre-registration is NOT required. Volunteers are encouraged to show up at the designated time and place. This is a family-oriented event and we encourage families of all ages to participate.
Schedule of Events
7 a.m. – Metro rail opens (system-wide)
8 a.m. – Arlington National Cemetery gates open.
8:30 a.m. – Volunteer briefing at McClellan located just off of Eisenhower Drive.
8:45 a.m. – Clean-up begins.
Parking is limited to vehicles with permanent ANC Family Gravesite Passes and those with valid Handicap Permits ONLY. The Welcome Center Parking Lot will open at 8 a.m., and will have free parking until 2 p.m. Any vehicles arriving before the cemetery’s opening at 8 a.m., will be required to depart and return at 8 a.m.
There is public parking available in the Eads, Fern and Joyce lots. The Eads, Fern and Joyce lots are each about the same distance to the south Service Complex gate (the gate between the Air Force and Pentagon Memorials).
For safety reasons, no general public vehicles/ANC Family passes/Disability vehicles are allowed inside Arlington National Cemetery until 3 p.m.
Because of the large number of volunteers and lack of adequate parking, participants are highly encouraged to take Metro.
1) Arlington Cemetery: Blue Line; Cemetery entrance: Main -- Follow signs to enter Visitor Center main gate.
2) Rosslyn: Orange and Blue Lines; Cemetery entrance: Ord & Weitzel (.7 mi) -- Follow signs to Iwo Jima Memorial. Continue south downhill toward cemetery. Entrance is an iron gate across the street from the end of the Iwo Jima Memorial access road.
3) Pentagon: Yellow and Blue Lines; Cemetery entrance: south Service Complex (.7 mi) -- Follow signs to Pentagon Memorial. Go west under S. Washington Blvd. Gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from the Air Force Memorial.
4) Pentagon City: Yellow and Blue Lines; Cemetery entrance: south Service Complex (.9 mi) -- Follow signs to the Pentagon Memorial. Cross under I-395 pedestrian tunnel. Go west under S. Washington Blvd. Gate on right, off Columbia Pike, downhill from the Air Force Memorial.
Arlington National Cemetery is phasing in security measures for those who visit the cemetery. In addition to random ID checks and other security measures already in place, the cemetery will require visitors to go through additional physical screening. We urge everyone to allow addition time to go through security screening when visiting the cemetery, especially large tour groups. We recommend visitors bring minimal to no bags to expedite the screening process.
Arlington National Cemetery Gates Open For Public Access (clockwise from north):
• Ord & Weitzel (north side) south of the Netherlands Carillon and the Iwo Jima Memorial
• Visitor Center main gates
• South Service Complex off Columbia Pike between the Air Force and Pentagon Memorials
• Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (northwest side) near the Old Post Chapel (DoD ID required)
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 noon, if possible, to help with any extra wreath disposal needed at locations throughout the cemetery.
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.