Arlington National Cemetery Immediately Begins Clean-Up Following Damaging Storm During Annual Flags-In Event


ARLINGTON, VA - Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) caretakers and horticulture staff are working quickly and diligently to recover from yesterday’s intense storm and restore the cemetery’s beautiful grounds for the Memorial Day weekend.   

The storm hit the cemetery at approximately 3:50 p.m. yesterday afternoon and resulted in approximately two dozen downed trees, broken tree limbs and debris across the cemetery’s 624 acres. Despite the severity of the storm and its impact, the cemetery conducted and completed all funeral services yesterday and today.  Most importantly, all visitors and staff were safe and accounted for following the storm.   

Cemetery staff immediately conducted an initial assessment and began restoration work, prioritizing visitor and staff safety, reopening blocked roadways, and restoring areas to support today’s funeral services.  Staff continue to make more detailed assessments as crews work on restoring the grounds. Work will continue today, throughout the long weekend and into next week.

“We want to thank all those who safely visited our grounds yesterday and today and who followed the direction of our staff as they continue to work hard in preparation for Memorial Day,” said Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery Katharine Kelley. “We are very proud of our dedicated professionals and the commitment and care they show to all those who rest here.”

Immediately following the storm, Soldiers from the 3d United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) completed their annual mission of placing approximately 250,000 flags at the foot of every headstone and niche in the cemetery. The mission took longer to complete due to Soldiers checking every gravesite to ensure the storm did not impact the flags that had already been placed.

The cemetery wants to thank Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Directorate of Emergency Services and The Old Guard for their outstanding support and willingness to assist visitors take shelter as well as help with damage assessments.

Photos of storm damage and initial clean-up can be found here: Here is a link to the DVIDS album:

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