ARLINGTON, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Wreaths Across America is looking for volunteers to lay one million wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery to honor our nation's fallen veterans.
Here's what you need to know about the weekend's event from the Arlington National Cemetery:
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is asking volunteers to arrive at this year's Wreath's Across America event December 15 at 8 a.m. and use Metro mass transportation to ensure a safe and meaningful tradition.
Due to the increasing number of volunteers for this event, there will be numerous changes to ensure the safety and security of those who participate. Volunteers should anticipate congestion and difficulties with driving vehicles in the vicinity of Arlington National Cemetery. To ensure pedestrian safety, the cemetery has restricted personally owned vehicles from driving onto cemetery grounds during the duration of the event from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
"We encourage all volunteers to arrive early and recommend taking the Pentagon or Rosslyn metro and walking into the cemetery," said Arlington National Cemetery Operations Director Micheal Migliara. "It's a short 15-minute walk from these stops and the most seamless way to access our hallowed grounds on this special day."
The Arlington National Cemetery gates (Main Entrance, Southgate, Ord & Weitzel, and Old Post Chapel) will open to the public at 8 a.m. All volunteers must pass through the cemetery's security screening process before entering the cemetery. There will be a brief opening ceremony inside the cemetery at the McClellan Gate at 8:30 a.m. General wreath placement will also begin at this time with the exception of those trucks in the vicinity of the opening ceremony. They will begin wreath placements no later than 9 a.m.
Use Metro to Access the Cemetery
Due to anticipated congestion at the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop, Metro is recommending volunteers exit via the Rosslyn and Pentagon Metro stops and walking to the cemetery. From these locations, it is a short 15-minute walk to one of the cemetery entrances. If taking the Rosslyn exit, recommend using the cemetery's Ord & Weitzel gate by walking along the North Meade Street sidewalks. If taking the Pentagon exit, recommend using the cemetery's South Gate entrance.
General public parking will be available at the Pentagon North Parking Lot (Lanes 50-60), South Parking Lot (Lanes 1-18) and the Pentagon City Mall parking garage (small fee associated). There will be Wreaths Across America volunteers and signage positioned in the parking lots guiding visitors to walk to the nearest cemetery entrances. For people parking in Pentagon South Parking and Pentagon City Mall Parking garage, recommend walking to the cemetery's South Gate entrance for screening and entry to the grounds. For people parking in Pentagon North Parking, recommend walking to the cemetery's main entrance on Memorial Ave. by using the Route 27 pedestrian walkway.
Family Pass Holders
The Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center parking garage will ONLY be available to ANC Family Pass holders who pre-register on a first-come, first served basis. ANC will publish a registration system on Dec. 1. Those who pre-register will need to provide their family pass and confirmation email and will need to go to Pentagon North parking lanes 61-63 beginning at 7 a.m. They will then be escorted by law enforcement into the cemetery's Welcome Center parking garage. Once all spaces are filled (600 available), all family pass holders will need to park at the Pentagon's North or South Parking Lot and walk to the cemetery. There is no vehicle access on Memorial Ave. and significant road closures in and around the main entrance. Volunteers attempting to gain access to Memorial Ave. and park in the parking garage without pre-registration will be directed by law enforcement to park at the Pentagon.
If you have any questions or you want to contact Wreaths Across America, call (877) 385-9504.