JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington, D.C. –
The Air Force Memorial, along with Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), announced today they will close public access to the Southern Expansion portion of Arlington National Cemetery, which includes access to the AF Memorial, on July 4th
, 2022. The memorial will reopen to the public on July 5, 2022.
"For years, the Air Force Memorial has offered an incredible backdrop to celebrate our Nation’s independence,” said Maj. Gen. Joel Jackson, Air Force District of Washington commander. “However, ongoing construction near the site in support of the Arlington National Cemetery’s Southern Expansion Project prevents us from safely hosting people during this year’s celebration.”
Previously, the grassy slopes around the land acquired by the cemetery from Arlington County and the AF Memorial have been a public gathering area for a few thousand people to view the 4th of July fireworks displays here in the National Capital Region.
“While we recognize it has become an annual tradition for many visitors and local community members to view the fireworks and commemorate this patriotic day from the Air Force Memorial, this is an active construction site, which poses a significant safety and security risk. Our priority is to keep our visitors safe and allow them the time needed to make alternative plans this holiday,” said Army National Military Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery Executive Director Karen Durham-Aguilera.
ANC and AFDW have been in close coordination with multiple agencies to include Arlington County Police, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) Department of Emergency Services and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency to conduct a thorough safety and security assessment before making the decision to close this area to the public.
ANC’s Southern Expansion Project is the cemetery’s largest expansion to date and will add 38 acres and more than 80,000 burial opportunities. This project is designed to expand the life of the cemetery and allow the nation to honor our future generations for their sacrifices.
Other ways to commemorate the 4th
of July celebration include the Freedom Fest at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (for those who have Department of Defense ID cards). Go to https://www.facebook.com/jbabdc
for more information. Also, please visit https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Topics/July-4th
for additional information.