Requests for Public Wreath Laying at Tomb of the Unknowns

Wreath Laying Ceremony

The opportunity for the public to take part in wreath-laying or other memorial services has actually been made a part of federal law, outlined in Title 32 U.S. Code of Federal Regulation Section 553.22.

Requests by the Public

Requests by the Public Requests by members of the public to conduct a public wreath laying, must be made in writing and mailed to:

Arlington National Cemetery
ATTN: Public Wreath Ceremonies
Arlington, VA 22211.

The requester needs to detail extensively the proposed service, as spelled out in the regulation, that it is nonpartisan in nature, be conducted in a dignified and proper manner and in keeping with the regulation.

School and Civic Organizations

School and civic organizations coming to Washington, D.C., that wish to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns are required to make a request in writing on organizational letterhead to:

Arlington National Cemetery
Attn: Public Wreath Ceremonies
Arlington, VA 22211

The sender should indicate on the outside of the envelope that it is a "wreath-laying request."

The letter should include:

  • when the group is visiting
  • group scheduling limitations
  • complete contact information in case further questions arise

The Arlington National Cemetery Public Wreath Coordinator will contact the sender to make further arrangements and provide further instructions. Requests must be in writing; Arlington National Cemetery cannot accept fax, e-mail or telephone requests. Letters are accepted six months to a year in advance of the group’s visit, but must be submitted at least 5 weeks in advance. Please note that vehicular access is controlled at Arlington National Cemetery. Tour bus and visiting bus access to the Memorial Amphitheater and Tomb of the Unknowns in conjunction with an event is authorized by exception only and not authorized prior to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday due to funeral services.

While dozens of such ceremonies are arranged each week, it is possible that an official event could arise that would take precedence. At all ceremonial events, the public is reminded to conduct themselves with dignity and respect in manner and dress and to follow all instructions of the Tomb Guards, or other representatives of the superintendent of the cemetery or the commanding general of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.