Arlington National Cemetery remains closed for the day; area cleared after threat

Officials said nothing suspicious was found after a bomb threat at Arlington National Cemetery but the cemetery will remain closed for the rest of the day.

Arlington National Cemetery said in an update at about 3 p.m. that law enforcement had safely cleared all areas after several hours of searching during which the cemetery was closed.

The cemetery said it is working with families to ensure that funerals scheduled for Friday will be conducted later Friday.

“Driving up here I could already feel the anxiety,” said Becky Cyr, the daughter of a woman whose funeral was planned for Friday. Cyr’s family had to wait fifteen months for the funeral that was delayed.

“On the day that we’ve been waiting for (for) a year and a half … what happens? ‘Oh, we’re closed today,'” said David Cyr, Becky’s husband.

Some members of Cyr’s family came for the funeral from as far as Alaska.

“We found out about 10 minutes before we pulled up.” said Angela Pugh, one of Cyr’s family members.

According to a social media post, cemetery and Joint Base Myer Henderson-Hall emergency services began responding to the threat just after 9 a.m. on Friday.

Response teams and local law enforcement officials were on site to investigate and officials asked the public to avoid the area.

“Every threat to Arlington National Cemetery is taken seriously,” said Army National Military Cemeteries and Office of Army Cemeteries Executive Director Karen Durham-Aguilera in statement. “I want to thank our visitors and family members for their patience and understanding, and an extensive team of our law enforcement partners across the National Capital Region for their swift and thorough response. We will spend the remainder of the day focused on our mission of laying our service members and their loved ones to rest.”

WTOP’s Dana Sukontarak and Jack Moore contributed to this report. 

José Umaña

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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