Arlington National Cemetery is phasing in enhanced security measures for those who visit the cemetery, officials announced today.
In addition to random ID checks and other security measures already in place, officials said, the cemetery will require visitors to go through additional screening.
“Arlington is taking advanced security precautions to protect visitors, family members and staff,” said Patrick K. Hallinan, Arlington National Cemetery executive director. “These security measures will be similar to the ones at museums in the national capital region.”
The new security measures will enhance current efforts and improve visitor safety while minimizing inconvenience, officials said.
All vehicle access will require presenting valid, government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, when entering the cemetery.
Vehicles will be subject to random inspections. Family members with permanent gravesite vehicle passes may continue to drive to their loved ones’ grave with a valid driver’s license.
Starting in November, Arlington National Cemetery will begin to implement visitor screening. All pedestrian traffic will be required to enter the cemetery at set access points: the main entrance on Memorial Avenue, the Ord and Weitzel gate, and the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Old Post Chapel gate.
Before entering the cemetery from the main entrance, all pedestrians will be screened through the Welcome Center, with express screening lines for visitors who do not have bags. People with disabilities also will have an express line for screening, officials said.
Arlington officials urge people to allow additional time to go through security screening when visiting the cemetery, especially large tour groups.
“These processes may result in a delay entering Arlington, but it is vitally important that we protect the safety of all the visitors, family members and staff that enter these hallowed grounds,” Hallinan said. “This is our nation’s premier national cemetery, and we want to be sure that when people visit this site, they can feel safe and secure.” (Source: DoD Daily Digest Bulletin | September 13, 2016)
Thomas Crisp is a retired military officer from Whitmire. His veteran updates can be found weekly in The Newberry Observer.