Losing someone you love is hard, and visiting their final resting place can be very emotional. While we want to ensure you’re given the time and space to mourn, there are some rules and etiquette for visiting a loved one at Arlington. These rules are in place to ensure you and other visitors are not interrupted nor disrespected and that the cemetery grounds remain a safe haven.
Be Mindful of Others
During a visit as emotionally powerful as visiting a fallen loved one, it can be easy to retreat inward and become blind to those around us. You should remain quiet as you enter and leave Arlington grounds so as not to intrude on other mourners. There may be a funeral procession occurring, and you’ll want to be sure you’re not accidentally in the way. Maintain your distance from other mourners to afford each other the privacy necessary for such vulnerable moments. Some respectful, smaller considerations include keeping your cellphone off or on silent and speaking quietly to others.
Treat the Cemetery With Respect
Treating the cemetery grounds with respect and consideration is important for maintaining the condition of the grounds and showing respect for the fallen. Please do not run, jump, or climb on anything within the cemetery and refrain from touching the headstones. Not only is doing so disrespectful, but older gravestones may be more prone to falling apart under the slightest touch. Once you’ve finished your visit, clean up any debris from arrangements or mementos you brought into the cemetery. Absolutely no food, drink, or other consumables are allowed within the cemetery.
Concerning Religious Needs
Regarding the rules and etiquette of visiting a loved one at Arlington, there aren’t any strict rules concerning religious practices. Arlington is welcoming of all religious beliefs, and you should be free to practice them as you wish. The Arlington National Cemetery chapel provides a quiet and private space for prayer and ceremony, should you desire it. Otherwise, please be mindful of others and their beliefs while visiting Arlington so as not to cause offense.