Arlington National Cemetery will brief Arlington residents next week on its plan to expand around the Air Force Memorial and realign the eastern end of Columbia Pike.
The “scoping meeting” is being held at the Sheraton hotel at 900 S. Orme Street from 5-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27.
The cemetery, which recently embarked on another expansion project, says it needs “additional space that is contiguous with the existing cemetery in order to maintain future operations beyond 2037.” It is planning a land swap with Arlington County and VDOT that will create burial space on either side of the Air Force Memorial, including on the former Navy Annex site.
“The cemetery has been working with the owners and operators of the adjacent road network, Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation, to pursue a roadway realignment and land exchange agreement that will also support the short- and long-term multimodal transportation system for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Arlington County,” the cemetery said in a press release.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on an environmental assessment ahead of the project.
“The Environmental Assessment will evaluate the proposal to increase the cemetery’s contiguous acreage, realign roadways, and maximize burial space by utilizing an area adjacent to the existing cemetery (formerly known as the Navy Annex site) located south of the existing cemetery,” said the press release.
The Corps of Engineers has set up a web page to provide information about the project. The event next week will allow residents “to learn more about and provide comments on the proposed project.”
A new 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center is also planned in conjunction with the project.
A driver suffered critical injuries in a crash on Columbia Pike next to the Air Force Memorial Sunday night.
The single-vehicle crash happened just before 5:45 p.m. A driver apparently lost control and slammed into the corner of a large concrete wall next to the entrance to the memorial.
The driver was found unconscious and was initially reported to be pinned inside the car, but was freed by firefighters, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Shawn Pendo.
The victim was transported to George Washington University Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Pendo said. There was no update on his or her condition as of Monday afternoon.
Columbia Pike was closed in both directions Sunday evening while police investigated the crash.
The United States Air Force celebrated its 66th birthday Friday at the Air Force Memorial near the Pentagon.
The celebration included a concert by the United States Air Force Band and the Singing Sergeants, as well as a ceremonial demonstration by the Air Force Honor Guard.
The Air Force was created Sept. 18, 1947, as a result of the National Security Act. The youngest branch of military, it had previously been a division of the United States Army.
Photos courtesy of Rob Laybourn
Eyes will be on the skies tomorrow, when the space shuttle Discovery flies to its new home at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport. There are actually some spots in Arlington that are being touted as great places to watch the flight.
NASA listed of some of the top places to see the shuttle in the DC metro area. Long Bridge Park and Gravelly Point in Arlington both received mentions. The Memorial Bridge, which covers ground in both Arlington and DC, is also on the list.
The shuttle is expected to pass near a number of landmarks in the area, including Reagan National Airport. Although not on the official list, some places like the Air Force Memorial and Mount Vernon Trail might also make decent viewing locations.
The shuttle will depart from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida around 7:30 a.m., and is expected to fly over Arlington between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., before landing at Dulles. The exact route and timing of the flight will be weather dependent.
Discovery will be mounted on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, which is a modified Boeing 747, during its journey. On Thursday, the shuttle is scheduled to be moved from Dulles to the Udvar-Hazy Center for permanent public display.
Discovery was retired after completing its 39th mission in March 2011. NASA’s final space shuttle mission ended with Atlantis on July 21, 2011.
The Air and Space Museum will be updating its website regularly to list the shuttle’s locations. Those who don’t have internet access can receive updates via a phone hotline. Information about receiving updates can be found on the museum’s website.
On Saturday night Arlington County held a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.
The ceremony, held at the Air Force Memorial, was attended by Arlington police officers and firefighters who responded to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as top county officials, military personnel and interested citizens.
The tribute featured the U.S. Air Force Band Brass Quintet Ensemble, the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard, the Arlington County Combined Honor Guard, Wakefield High School’s a capella choir “The Madrigals,” Macedonia Baptist Church Music Ministry, and a commemoration by the Pentagon Memorial Fund’s Jim Laychak.
Businesses Encouraged By Action on Sign Ordinance — Business owners are hopeful that the new, proposed changes to the sign ordinance will dramatically “streamline” the time-consuming, costly process for getting signs approved in Arlington. [Washington Examiner]
DJO Student’s Dry-Cleaning Research Makes Headlines — It’s not everyday that a high school sophomore’s science project makes it into an peer-reviewed academic research journal, but that’s exactly what happened to Bishop O’Connell High School student Alexa Dantzler. The 15-year-old’s research on chemicals that remain on clothing after dry-cleaning, conducted with the help of the Georgetown University chemistry department, was formally published last week. [Washington Post]
Gay Service Members Honored — Two prominent ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal advocates celebrated their retirement from the military during a ceremony at the Air Force Memorial on Sunday. [The Advocate]
Flags Flying in Rosslyn for 9/11 — Buildings in Rosslyn are flying the American flag this week in honor of the victims of 9/11. [Rosslyn Blog]
Arlington Fire Chief Remembers 9/11 Response — Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz was recently interviewed about the department’s role as the “primary response agency” to the Pentagon on 9/11. “There isn’t a lot of time to dwell on the enormity… you’ve got to go to work right away,” he said.” [Firehouse.com]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
We’re one month away from the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and Arlington is planning several events to commemorate the solemn occasion.
On Saturday, Sept. 10 Arlington County will host a special 9/11 tribute event to honor the 184 people who perished during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
“The event will be held at the Air Force Memorial and will be emceed by ACFD Lieutenant Dave Santini, with an invocation by ACFD Chaplin Reverend Leonard L. Hamlin, live instrumental music and a vocalist to lead attendees in singing ‘America the Beautiful,'” according to the county web site. “This event is free and open to the public.”
Also on Sept. 10, Arlington’s public safety personnel are hosting a 9/11 memorial 5K race in Pentagon City. Registration for the race, which benefits several 9/11-related charities, is still open.
Another annual public safety-sponsored commemorative event, the First Responders Cup softball tournament, will take place Sept. 9 to 11 at three separate South Arlington fields.
For anyone interested in giving back to the community to honor the memory of 9/11 victims, Arlington County is compiling volunteer opportunities for the 9/11 Day of Service. Among the options is a Sept. 10 and 11 grocery store food drive to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
More information on 9/11 events in Arlington can be found on the county’s “Arlington Remembers September 11, 2001” web page.
Here are a few photos of Saturday’s “Super Moon,” as seen from Arlington.
The photos were taken by ARLnow.com at the Air Force Memorial and by Flickr pooler Eric Dobson near the Iwo Jima memorial.
Feel free to post your own Super Moon photos in the comments or in our Flickr pool.
Despite an Autobot mishap in the District earlier in the day, Transformers 3 production crews came to the Air Force Memorial last night (sans actors) to film a few scenes for the upcoming sequel.
A crowd of spectators armed with lawn chairs and cameras kept watch from across Columbia Pike. Reader Stephen McCay was there and sent us these photos. See more photos here.
If you’re planning on driving near near the Air Force Memorial Monday night, watch out. Rumor has it that some Decepticons may be prowling the area, cooking up an evil plot to attack the National Mall.
The Michael Bay-directed sequel Transformers 3 has filed an application to film in Arlington on Monday, and we’re told the filming will likely take place at or near the Air Force Memorial.
Pete Lindquist, managing director of the Air Force Memorial, says that there are “a lot of moving parts,” but the current plan is for crews to start setting up in the morning and start filming at night.
“The actual filming will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.,” Lindquist said. He said visitors will still be able to visit the memorial on Monday, but “there may be some interruptions” during filming.
Part of the filming may involve vehicles driving up and down Columbia Pike, which may result in temporary road closures. The Arlington County Police Department will be assisting with traffic control.
Despite the excitement of a big-budget Hollywood film coming to Arlington, there is some bad news to report for Shia LaBeouf fans: Lindquist does not expect any actors to be a part of Monday’s shoot. But all hope is not lost. Transformers 3 is also expected to film several scenes in the District in coming weeks.
Update at 6:15 p.m. — The police department has confirmed that sections of Columbia Pike near the memorial will be periodically shut down between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. They’re also advising pedestrians to avoid the area “due to security surrounding the film.”
Flickr pool photo by Rozanne Hakala