FAQs: Wreaths Across America 2021

America’s fallen heroes will be remembered during this year’s Wreaths Across America Day.

Here’s what you need to know about road closures, parking and attending.

  • Q: What is Wreaths Across America?
  • Wreaths Across America is a national movement to remember fallen U.S. troops.

  • Q: Where does it take place?
  • The Wreaths Across America mission is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 2,500 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

    Specific locations are listed online.

    At Arlington National Cemetery, volunteers will need to register and will be required to show email confirmation as proof of entry, along with photo ID.

  • Q: Where do I volunteer?
  • Wreaths Across America is looking for volunteers. You can search for cemeteries to help at online.

  • Q: What are the events at Arlington National Cemetery?
  • There are two events at Arlington National Cemetery — one for families and one for the public.

    On Dec. 12, family pass holders laid wreaths at their loved ones’ graves.

    Saturday, Dec. 18

    Wreaths Across America National Wreath Day is open to the public beginning at 8 a.m. Registration for this year’s event is mandatory. Family pass holders are also welcome on this day, but they must register. Wreaths Across America’s registration page is online.

  • Q: How can I attend the opening ceremony?
  • The cemetery gates will open to the public at 8 a.m. Visitors and volunteers will be subject to a security screening before entry.

    There will be a brief opening ceremony shortly afterward, ahead of the wreath laying.

  • Q: What roads will be closed for the event?
  • On Saturday, December 18th, starting at 5:00 a.m. until approximately 2:00 p.m. police said the following roads will be closed:

    • Southgate Road, between Columbia Pike and S. Oak Street, will be closed and restricted to authorized vehicles only. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be posted and vehicles in violation will be towed.
    • Marshall Drive, between N. Meade Street and Rt. 110, will be closed and restricted to authorized traffic only.
    • N. Meade Street will be closed from 14th Street N. to Marshall Drive, except for local residents and those using the Wright Gate to access Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
    • Memorial Avenue, from Memorial Circle to the Cemetery entrance will be closed.  Access to the Memorial Bridge from southbound George Washington Parkway and northbound Rt. 110 will also be closed.
    • Additional road closures will be implemented in locations along I-395, the George Washington Parkway, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, and the Pentagon Reservation by the Virginia State Police, United States Park Police, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Police, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

    Other roads might be closed for short durations of time.

  • Q: How can I get there on Metro?
  • Metro anticipates significant congestion at the Arlington Cemetery station on the Blue Line, and recommends volunteers and visitors exit at the Rosslyn or Pentagon stations, each about a 15-minute walk from the cemetery. The Rosslyn station is serviced by the Orange, Silver and Blue lines, and is closest to the Ord and Weitzel Gate along North Meade Street. The Pentagon station, served by the Yellow and Blue lines, is closest to the cemetery’s South Gate.

  • Q: How can I get there via ride-hailing?
  • Those using a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft should set their drop-off location as the Hayes lot at 599-549 Army Navy Drive. It’s a short walk from there to the South Gate.

  • Q: Where can I park?
  • There will be limited public parking at the Pentagon north and south lots; volunteers and signs will guide visitors to the nearest cemetery gate (Memorial Avenue main entrance for the north lot; South Gate for the south lot).

    For volunteers, $7 parking will be available at 1616 Fort Myer Drive, 1300 Wilson Blvd. and 1655 Fort Myer Drive.

    If you have a disabled placard or family pass, you will be able to park in the ANC Welcome Center parking garage. Visitors should go to Pentagon north parking to have their pass verified before being directed to welcome center parking. Once the garage is full, drivers will be directed to other parking options. Unlike last year, there is no preregistration for family pass parking this year.

    Those with Defense Department ID cards will be able to access Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, but parking will be limited to the Tri Services lot across from Spates Community Center and Henderson Hall. Visitors parking there can get to the cemetery through the Old Post Chapel Gate.

  • Q: Can I sponsor a wreath?
  • Sure can. You can sponsor a wreath (or more than one), as well as individual cemeteries and local sponsorship groups.

    Get more info online.

  • Q: How many wreaths are expected to be laid?
  • Although  the coronavirus pandemic kept volunteers from taking part in Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery last year, there were about 265,000 wreaths laid at the cemetery in 2020.

    Additionally, Wreaths Across America helped put wreaths at 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad last year.

  • Q: When do the wreaths come down?
  • Saturday, Jan. 22. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at both Arlington National Cemetery and the Soldiers and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, the public is invited to the annual “Wreaths Out” event to assist in removing the wreaths from headstones. The general public is welcome to attend; no registration is required.

  • Q: Who sponsors Wreaths Across America?
  • A variety of companies and organizations support Wreaths Across America.

    Among their corporate sponsors are the Daughters of the American Revolution, Geico, Lockheed Martin and Walmart.

    When it comes to trucking wreaths, it’s the Honor Fleet, which you can volunteer for.

    There are also a host of organization partners like the Civil Air Patrol and the Truckload Carriers Association.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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