Arlington National Cemetery readies for Memorial Day events, visitors

The full reopening of Arlington National Cemetery comes right as the hallowed ground expects to welcome thousands of visitors throughout Memorial Day weekend.

Last year, pandemic restrictions only allowed family pass holders on site. But as of earlier this week, the cemetery is fully open.

It’s also adorned with nearly 300,000 American flags, according to Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director of the Office of Army Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery. She called it “just inspiring … to come out here and see those flags on all the graves.”

On Saturday morning, Durham-Aguilera will host a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of President John F. Kennedy at the Kennedy gravesite. That event will be open to the public.

President Joe Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Monday, which will put part of the cemetery off-limits to the public that day.

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation will also place 50,000 flowers at the cemetery over the weekend.

The cemetery is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Durham-Aguilera expects a slight uptick in visitors for the Memorial Day weekend, to a level of 11,000 or 12,000 people a day.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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