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Volunteers to Remove Arlington Nat’l Cemetery Wreaths

Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery (via WreathsAcrossAmerica.org)Arlington National Cemetery is seeking volunteers this weekend to help pick up about 112,000 wreaths placed at grave sites last month.

The Dec. 15 wreath laying, an annual holiday tradition in its 21st year, involved some 20,000 volunteers. The cemetery is hoping to get another good volunteer turnout from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday).

From a military press release:

On Sat., Jan. 26, volunteers are picking up Remembrance Wreaths that were placed on approximately 112,000 gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery, as part of Wreaths Across America.

The event will occur regardless of the weather. Metro use is strongly encouraged due to limited parking. Information on the Metro system is available at: http://www.wmata.com.

Arlington National Cemetery’s Welcome Center will open at 7 a.m. for volunteers. Wreaths Across America leaders will brief volunteers on the cleanup plan at 8:45 a.m. at the Memorial Amphitheater. Visitors, including those with permanent passes, will not be permitted to drive to specific gravesites to visit loved ones until after the wreath cleanup at approximately 1 p.m. Volunteers should expect to stay until 1 p.m. to ensure the wreath cleanup is complete.

ACCESS
The ANC Welcome Center will open at 7 a.m. for volunteers but there will be no access to other locations within the cemetery until 8 a.m. There will be no vehicular access to the cemetery except through the gate to the parking garage until after the wreath cleanup at approximately 1 p.m.

Shuttle service will be available for a fee via ANC Tours by Martz.

Arlington will be accessible to pedestrians only from the following gates:
– Ord-Weitzel: south of the Netherlands Carillon and the Iwo Jima Memorial
– Main: Memorial Drive by the Women’s Memorial and Welcome Center entrance
– Service Complex: (south side) off Columbia Pike between the Air Force and Pentagon Memorials. This gate will close at 1 p.m.
– Fort Myer (northwest side, Fort Myer’s Old Post Chapel Gate) adjacent to the Old Post Chapel
– South Gate: Henderson Hall, Marine Corps Exchange/Service entrance. This gate will close at 1 p.m.

PARKING
All vehicular access to the cemetery will be through the Welcome Center parking garage. Vehicular access into the cemetery will begin at 8 a.m. Family members with valid entry passes will enter the cemetery through the Welcome Center parking lot. Parking will be in designated areas only. Handicapped parking will be available in the Administrative Building parking lot.

METRO
Metro use is strongly encouraged due to limited parking. There are four Metro stops within a mile of a cemetery gate.
– Rosslyn: Orange & Blue lines (.7 mi) from Ord-Weitzel gate, via Iwo Jima Memorial
– Arlington Cemetery: Blue line – cemetery’s primary Metro stop
– Pentagon: Yellow & Blue lines – (.7 mi) access through south Service Complex gate
– Pentagon City: Yellow & Blue lines – (.9 mi) access through south Service Complex gate

TIPS FOR THE CLEANUP:
* Wear gloves
* Bring a device to collect/hold multiple wreaths (such as a broom handle, rake, rope with a board tied to one end) * Wear comfortable walking shoes * Wear weather appropriate clothing

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