32 CFR 553.22 - Visitors' rules for the Arlington National Cemetery.
(a) Purpose. The rules of this section define the standards of conduct required of all visitors to the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Applicable Army regulations and directives should be consulted for all other matters not within the scope of these rules.
(b) Scope. Pursuant to title 40 United States Code, sections 318a and 486, and based upon delegations of authority from the Administrator, General Services Administration, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Army, this section applies to all Federal property within the charge and control of the Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, and to all persons entering in or on such property. At the discretion of the Secretary of the Army, any person or organization that violates any of the provisions of paragraphs (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h), or (i) of this section may be barred from conducting memorial services and ceremonies within the Cemetery for two years from the date of such violation. Any such person shall also be subject to the penalties set out in title 40, United States Code section 318c.
(c) Definitions. When used in this section;
(1) The term memorial service or ceremony means any formal group activity conducted within the Arlington National Cemetery grounds intended to honor the memory of a person or persons interred in the Cemetery or those dying in the military service of the United States or its allies. “Memorial service or ceremony” includes a “private memorial service,” “public memorial service,” “public wreath laying ceremony” and “official ceremony” as defined in this section.
(2) The term official ceremony means a memorial service or ceremony approved by the Commanding General, Military District of Washington, in which the primary participants are authorized representatives of the United States Government, a state government, a foreign country, or an international organization who are participating in an official capacity.
(3) The term private memorial service means a memorial service or ceremony, other than an official ceremony, conducted at a private gravesite within Arlington National Cemetery by a group of relatives and/or friends of the person interred or to be interred at that gravesite. Private memorial services may be closed to members of the public.
(4) The term public memorial service means a ceremony, other than an official ceremony, conducted by members of the public at the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, the Confederate Memorial, the Mast of the Maine, the John F. Kennedy Grave or at an historic shrine or at a gravesite within Arlington National Cemetery designated by the Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery. All public memorial services are open to any member of the public to observe.
(5) The term public wreath laying ceremony means a brief ceremony, other than an official ceremony, in which members of the public, assisted by members of the Tomb Guard, present a wreath or similar memento, approved by the Superintendent or Commanding General, at the tomb and plaza area of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (also known as the Tomb of the Unknowns). Participants follow the instructions of the Tomb Guards, Superintendent and Commanding General in carrying out the presentation. The ceremony is open to any member of the public to observe.
(6) The term Superintendent means the Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery or his representative.
(7) The term Commanding General, means the Commanding General, U.S. Army Military District of Washington or his representative.
(d) Visitors hours. Visitors' hours shall be established by the Superintendent and posted in conspicuous places. Unless otherwise posted or announced by the Superintendent, visitors will be admitted during the following hours:
(e) Destruction or Removal of Property. No person shall willfully destroy, damage, mutilate or remove any monument, gravestone, structure, tree, shrub, plant or other property located within the Cemetery grounds.
(f) Conduct within the Cemetery. Because Arlington National Cemetery is a shrine to the honored dead of the Armed Forces of the United States and because certain acts, appropriate elsewhere, are not appropriate in the Cemetery, all visitors, including persons attending or taking part in memorial services and ceremonies, shall observe proper standards of decorum and decency while within the Cemetery grounds. Specifically, no person shall:
(1) Conduct any memorial service or ceremony within the Cemetery, except private memorial services, without the prior approval of the Superintendent or Commanding General. All memorial services and ceremonies shall be conducted in accordance with the rules established in paragraph (h) and, except for official ceremonies, paragraph (i) of this section. Official ceremonies shall be conducted in accordance with guidance and procedures established by the Commanding General;
(2) Engage in any picketing, demonstration or similar conduct within the Cemetery grounds;
(3) Engage in any orations, speeches, or similar conduct to assembled groups of people, unless the oration is part of a memorial service or ceremony authorized by this section;
(4) Display any placards, banners, flags or similar devices within the Cemetery grounds, unless, in the case of a flag, use of the same is approved by the Superintendent or Commanding General and is part of a memorial service or ceremony authorized by this section;
(5) Distribute any handbill, pamphlet, leaflet, or other written or printed matter within the Cemetery grounds except that a program may be distributed if approved by the Superintendent or Commanding General and such distribution is a part of a memorial service or ceremony authorized by this section;
(6) Allow any dog, cat, or other pet to run loose within the Cemetery grounds;
(7) Use the Cemetery grounds for recreational activities such as sports, athletics, or picnics;
(8) Ride a bicycle within Cemetery grounds except on Meigs Drive, Sherman Drive and Schley Drive or as otherwise authorized by the Superintendent under this subparagraph. All other bicycle traffic will be directed to the Visitors' Center where bicycle racks are provided. Exceptions for bicycle touring groups may be authorized in advance and in writing by the Superintendent. An individual visiting a relative's gravesite may be issued a temporary pass by the Superintendent to permit him to proceed directly to and from the gravesite by bicycle;
(9) Deposit or throw litter on Cemetery grounds;
(10) Play any radio, tape recorder, or musical instrument, or use any loudspeaker within the Cemetery grounds unless use of the same is approved by the Superintendent or Commanding General and is part of a memorial service or ceremony authorized by this section;
(11) Drive any motor vehicle within Arlington National Cemetery in excess of twenty miles per hour or such lesser speed limit as the Superintendent posts;
(12) Park any motor vehicle in any area on the Cemetery grounds designated by the Superintendent as a no parking area; or leave any vehicle in the Visitors' Center Parking Lot at the Cemetery beyond two hours;
(13) Engage in any disorderly conduct within the Cemetery grounds. For purposes of this section, a person shall be guilty of disorderly conduct if, with purpose to cause, or with knowledge that he is likely to cause, public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, he:
(i) Engages in, promotes, instigates, encourages, or aids and abets fighting, or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior;
(ii) Yells, utters loud and boisterous language or makes other unreasonably loud noise;
(iii) Interrupts or disturbs a memorial service or ceremony;
(iv) Utters to any person present abusive, insulting, profane, indecent or otherwise provocative language or gesture that by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
(v) Obstructs movement on the streets, sidewalks, or pathways of the Cemetery grounds without prior authorization by competent authority;
(vi) Disobeys a proper request or order by the Superintendent, Cemetery special police, park police, or other competent authority to disperse or to leave the Cemetery grounds; or
(vii) Otherwise creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act not authorized by competent authority.
(g) Soliciting and Vending. No person shall display or distribute commercial advertising or solicit business while within the Cemetery grounds.
(h) Requests to Conduct Memorial Services and Ceremonies.
(1) Requests by members of the public to conduct memorial services or ceremonies shall be submitted to the Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia 22211. Such requests shall describe the proposed memorial service or ceremony in detail to include the type of service, its proposed location, the name of the individual or organization sponsoring the service, the names of all key individuals participating in the service, the estimated number of persons expected to attend the service, the expected length of the service, the service's format and content, whether permission to use loud-speaker systems or musical instruments or flags during the service is requested and, if so, the number, type, and how they are planned to be used, whether permission to distribute printed programs during the service is requested, and, if so, a description of the programs, and whether military support is requested. Individuals and organizations sponsoring memorial services or ceremonies shall provide written assurance that the services or ceremonies are not partisan in nature, as defined in paragraph (i) of this section, and that they and their members will obey all rules set out in this section and act in a dignified and proper manner at all times while in the Cemetery grounds.
(2) Requests to conduct official ceremonies shall be submitted to the Commanding General.
(3) Memorial services or ceremonies other than private memorial services may be conducted only after permission has been received from the Superintendent or Commanding General. Private memorial services may be conducted only at the gravesite of a relative or friend. All other memorial services and ceremonies may be conducted only at the area or areas designated by the Superintendent or Commanding General as follows:
(i) Public memorial services may be authorized to be conducted only at the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, the Confederate Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Grave, or other sites designated by the Superintendent.
(ii) Public wreath laying ceremonies may be authorized to be conducted at the tomb and plaza area of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (also known as the Tomb of the Unknowns).
(iii) Official ceremonies may be authorized to be conducted at sites designated by the Superintendent or Commanding General.
(i) Conduct of Memorial Services and Ceremonies. All memorial services and ceremonies within Arlington National Cemetery, other than official ceremonies, shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules:
(1) Memorial services and ceremonies shall be purely memorial in purpose and dedicated only to the memory of all those interred in the Cemetery, to all those dying in the military service of the United States, to all those dying in the military service of the United States while serving during a particular conflict or while serving in a particular military unit or units, or to the memory of the individual or individuals interred or to be interred at the particular gravesite at which the service or ceremony is held.
(2) Partisan activities are inappropriate in Arlington National Cemetery, due to its role as a shrine to all the honored dead of the Armed Forces of the United States and out of respect for the men and women buried there and for their families. Services or any activities inside the Cemetery connected therewith shall not be partisan in nature. A service is partisan and therefore inappropriate if it includes commentary in support of, or in opposition to, or attempts to influence, any current policy of the Armed Forces, the Government of the United States or any state of the United States; if it espouses the cause of a political party; or if it has as a primary purpose to gain publicity or engender support for any group or cause. If a service is closely related, both in time and location, to partisan activities or demonstrations being conducted outside the Cemetery, it will be determined to be partisan and therefore inappropriate. If a service is determined to be partisan by the Superintendent or the Commanding General, permission to conduct memorial services or ceremonies at the Cemetery will be denied.
(3) Participants in public wreath laying ceremonies shall remain silent during the ceremony.
(4) Participants in public memorial services at the John F. Kennedy Grave shall remain silent during the service.
(5) Public memorial services and public wreath laying ceremonies shall be open to all members of the public to observe.
(6) Participants in public wreath laying ceremonies shall follow all instructions of the Tomb Guards, Superintendent, and Commanding General relating to their conduct of the ceremony. (40 U.S.C. 318a, 486, and delegations of authority from the Administrator, General Services Administration, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Army).
(j) Tributes in Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate individuals, events, units, groups and/or organizations -
(1) General. Tributes, which include plaques, medals, and statues, will be accepted only from those veterans organizations listed in the Directory of Veterans Organizations and State Department of Veterans Organizations published annually by the Veterans Administration or those substantially similar in nature.
(2) Plaques at trees and other donated items. Plaques may be accepted and placed at trees or other donated items to honor the memory of a person or persons interred in Arlington National Cemetery or those dying in the military service of the United States or its allies.-
(k) Tributes to the Unknowns (Unknown Soldier) -
(1) General. Tributes, normally plaques, to the Unknowns by those organizations described in § 553.22(j) above must conform to specifications and guidelines contained in appendix A, Specifications for Tributes in Arlington National Cemetery. Descriptions of the character, dimensions, inscription, material and workmanship of the tribute must be submitted in writing to Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia 22211-5003 for approval.
(2) Tributes to the Unknowns (Unknown Soldier) Presented by Foreign Dignitaries. Presentation of tributes by Foreign Dignitaries is allowed as part of an official ceremony as defined herein.
(l) Monuments. Monuments (other than private monuments or markers) to commemorate an individual, group or event may be erected following joint or concurrent resolution of the Congress.