Volunteers Needed to Place Remembrance Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery!
Saturday morning - December 19, 2020
Thank you for volunteering with Arlington National Cemetery's annual Wreaths Across America program.
Founded in 1864, Arlington National Cemetery is our nation’s premier military cemetery with over 400,000 gravesites spread across 624 acres.
Since 1992 the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
Last year 38,000 volunteers placed 254,000 wreaths across Arlington National Cemetery's 624 acres.
There are no tickets for this event - just show up.
The event is open to the general public and all are welcome to volunteer, including children and community organizations (but not non-service animals).
If you would like to volunteer on your own you are free to do so.
You are also welcome to volunteer with members of our “Washington, DC History & Culture” non-profit community organization as we've been participating since 2010.
Pre-registration (Facebook/Eventbrite/Meetup/etc.) through Washington, DC History & Culture, while not required, will allow you to receive event updates and suggestions via email or social media and allow us to know how many people to expect.
What’s It Like Volunteering for Arlington Wreaths?
Our YouTube Videos Will Show You…..
Arlington Wreaths 2017
Arlington Wreaths 2016
SCHEDULE - SUBJECT TO CHANGE - BASED ON LAST YEAR
We will post more details as we get closer to the event date (a few weeks beforehand).
7:00 AM: Metro rail opens (system wide). 7:00 AM: Convoy arrival on Memorial Drive 7:00 AM: Security screening process will begin at the Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center and on Memorial Avenue. Screened visitors will be held on the sidewalk on Memorial Drive to await the Gate Opening. Screening @ the South Service Gate and Ord Weitzel Gate is TBD at this point. 8:00 AM: All gates into the cemetery grounds will be opened to the general public. 8:30 AM: Opening Ceremony at the McClellan Arch. Wreath Laying to begin except for the sections in close proximity of the opening ceremony. 9:00 AM Wreath Laying to begin for all trucks and sections. 10:00 AM or Earlier: Wreath laying completed - not sure how long it will take - depends on the number of volunteers. Also, due to the size of the cemetery and the number of volunteers, different sections will finish at different times. You are free to arrive and depart whenever you like. 10:00 AM: Wreath Laying @ President Taft Site 10:30 AM: Wreath Laying @ President Kennedy Site 11:00 AM Wreath Laying @ USS Maine Memorial 12:00 PM Wreath Laying at Tomb of the Unknowns
Event Information - Please Read Carefully - Subject to Change!
Registration: There are no tickets for this event - just show up. The event is open to the general public and all are welcome to volunteer, including children and community organizations (but not non-service animals). If you would like to volunteer on your own you are free to do so. You are also welcome to volunteer with members of our “Washington, DC History & Culture” non-profit community organization as we've been participating since 2010. Pre-registration (Facebook/Eventbrite/Meetup/etc.) through Washington, DC History & Culture, while not required, will allow you to receive event updates and suggestions via email or social media and allow us to know how many people to expect.
Wreath Donations: This is not a government-funded event and no tax dollars are used for this program. Instead, all the wreaths are purchased through the generous donations of individuals and various organizations. To make a donation please visit the following web link: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/#join-us
Weather: This event will take place in all but extreme weather conditions (e.g. a blizzard). If it’s on the calendar, then we’re proceeding as scheduled.
Parking: There is virtually no parking at the cemetery on this date as there are only a limited number of spaces there. There is parking at the Pentagon South Paring lots and some additional surrounding areas such as Pentagon City and Rosslyn. However, when driving in you are extremely likely to be stuck in heavy traffic jams converging on the cemetery. We’ve been participating in this event since 2010. Our advice - take the Metro!
Metro: We highly encourage Metro use. While the Arlington Cemetery Station on the Blue Line stops at the cemetery entrance, you can also access various parts of the Cemetery from the Rosslyn, Pentagon, and Pentagon City stops via only a short walk. To support our Metro-traveling volunteers, we will have multiple gates open to provide pedestrian access to the Cemetery. There will be two pedestrian-access gates at Arlington Cemetery that are near Metro stations. They are about a mile walk from the Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon and Pentagon City stations. If arriving from Rosslyn, use the Ord & Weitzel gate on the cemetery’s north side, just south of the USMC Memorial (“Iwo Jima”). For access from the Pentagon and Pentagon City stops, walk to the south maintenance access gate on the south side, between the Air Force and Pentagon Memorials.
Security: Due to the potentially high number of volunteers that may be present and for safety reasons and concerns, ANC officials have implemented some increased security requirements and screening which will be in effect on Wreath Day. You can expect random bag inspections and other related security screening to occur. It is suggested that you leave any large bags, knapsacks, etc., at home or in your vehicles. In addition, food and drinks are not allowed on cemetery grounds. (Bottled water is okay.)
Placing a Wreath at a Specific Grave Site: We expect tens of thousands of volunteers on Wreath Day and it would be impossible to "save" a particular grave site for a person to place a wreath. Our best suggestion would be for you to bring a friend or relative with you to Arlington. Arrive early and have the person with you go directly to your interested grave site to stand by the site. Then you go to the closest wreath truck for that section to await receiving a wreath. Should another volunteer come up to place a wreath on that site, the person standing by the site could request the volunteer to move to another grave as you will be bringing a wreath for that site. That's the best we can do. Please note ANC officials request that only one wreath be placed on each marker as in those instances of dual burials, the remains are placed on the front side of the marker.
Wreath Laying Protocol: The wreaths are placed ribbon up-ward. Also, the ANC cemetery officials, out of respect and understanding of the beliefs and traditions of the Jewish Faith, have asked that volunteers be advised to not place a Remembrance Wreath on any marker which has the Jewish Religious symbol of the Star of David on it. However, we ask that you still pause, read and say the name of that veteran to thank them for their service and sacrifices. If you do see a Jewish marker with a wreath on it, assume that a family member placed it there and do not remove it. The wreaths sponsored, donated and delivered to Arlington National Cemetery become "government property" once they arrive into the cemetery. They are NOT TO BE REMOVED from the cemetery for placement at any other location. As this is a cemetery appropriate behavior is expected at all times.
Community Service Credit: Can be provided at the event just bring your completed paperwork and have anyone one of the thousands of volunteers on site sign it for you.
This program is presented by the non-profit community organization Washington, DC History & Culture:
“bringing people together to experience the history and culture of Washington, DC.”
For more fun and educational programs visit us at:
We look forward to seeing you - thanks!
Washington, DC History & Culture
202-821-6325 (text only)
Please read the above event description before contacting us as answers to most questions can be found there.
Pictures from Previous Years