June 1, 2002 - : The Peace Corps Flag Procession to Arlington Cemetery

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By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 01, 2002 - 8:09 pm: Edit Post

The Peace Corps Flag Procession to Arlington Cemetery


Last year after the Peace Corps 40th was cancelled, the Peace Vigil was still held at Lincoln Memorial on September 23 which PCOL attended and reported on here.

This year many volunteers have contacted us about the NPCA's 40th plus one and asked how they can participate in a program equally as moving without having to register for the entire 40th plus one program.

The best way is to come to the Returned Volunteers Country of Service Flag Procession from Lincoln Memorial to Arlington Cemetery on Sunday morning, June 23 and then attend the Closing Ceremony at the Amphitheatre at Arlington Cemetary. There will be no charge to participate in this event and we expect many thousands of volunteers to attend.

This will be the best way to participate in the program and the best chance to find friends from your Country of Service that you have not seen for years. Don't miss this event because it will not be held again for many years and it may be the last chance to meet and to honor some of the Charter Volunteers and Staff who started the Peace Corps forty years ago.

Get details on the Flag Procession to Arlington Cemetery and the Closing Ceremonies at:


* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.


The following information is provided to assist you in preparing for and enjoying the procession with country of service flags from the Lincoln Memorial, across Memorial Bridge to the Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery where the conference closing ceremony will be held.

Getting to the Lincoln Memorial

The nearest metro stop is Foggy Bottom on the Orange and Blue lines. It will take about 20 minutes to walk south on 23rd Street to the assembly area which is between 23rd Street, Constitution Avenue and Francis Bacon Drive. Parking is available on Constitution Avenue and Ohio Drive southeast of the Lincoln Memorial and about a ten minute walk to the assembly area. This parking is on a first come basis but should be available that early on a Sunday morning.

Go to the map of the Washington Metro system at the top of this page.


We will assemble from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM. in country of service groups on the north side of the Lincoln Memorial between Constitution Avenue, Francis Bacon Drive, and the circular road around the Memorial.

NOTE: FLAG CARRIERS SHOULD BE ON THE NORTH CIRCULAR DRIVE OF THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL BETWEEN 7:30 AND 8:00 AM TO PICK UP THE FLAGS TO ASSEMBLE FOR PHOTOGRAPHS. We will provide the flags and light weight flag poles. We are requesting each country of service group or someone from those countries that do not have a formal group to designate one person to pick up their flag from the truck which will be parked on Henry Bacon Drive, next to the assembly area. The flag carriers will then move to the designated places in the assembly area next to their country of service signs which will be in alphabetical order.

Because we are not allowed to take flags or banners inside Arlington National Cemetery, we are asking you not to bring personal banners or flags in the cemetery. There is no place to leave them outside of the cemetery and we will not be able to put them in our flag truck for safekeeping.

If you would like to look at the world flags you can see them on various web sites such as

www.un.org or www.flags.net

We have invited members of the Diplomatic Corps from our countries of service and are asking each country group to designate one person to meet and escort their Ambassador or ranking member(s) from their embassy throughout the Sunday morning events if the come. As we receive information from the various embassies, we will share this with the designated persons from each country of service.

By showing their identification to the Park Police officer at Constitution and Henry Bacon Drive, Ambassadors or ranking embassy officials will be allowed to drive up to the north side of the Lincoln Memorial circular road to join their groups.

Ambassadors and others embassy personnel are invited to walk with their country of service groups and attend the closing ceremony in the amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery. If they do their drivers will be able to pick them up at the amphitheater. If they chose not to walk but want to attend the ceremony in the amphitheater from 11:00 AM to noon, their drivers will be authorized to drive them to the amphitheater. Note: Those planning to drive to Arlington Memorial Cemetery will not be able to use Memorial Bridge between 8:30 and 10:30 AM because it will closed for our procession. They will have to use an alternative route.

Starting Time for The Procession

We will start the walk promptly at 8:30 AM to allow all of us to be seated in the amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery by 11:00 AM for the one hour conference closing ceremony. We estimate 3,000 RPCVs, staff, diplomats, family and friends will participate in the procession. The United States Park Police will close the three outbound lanes (north side) of Memorial Bridge and various access roads so we will have an unobstructed and safe procession. We will have procession monitors along the route and inside the cemetery to keep the procession moving along the authorized route.

The Route

The route is from the north side of the Lincoln Memorial, across Memorial Bridge, along Memorial Drive past the Cemetery Visitors Center (on your left) to the main entrance of the Cemetery in front of the new Women in Military Service for America Memorial (It's a long sentence and approximately 1 and ½ miles walking). The flag bearers will put the flags and flag poles in our truck which will be parked just outside the entrance to the cemetery. When all of the flags are collected the truck will then be driven to the mast of the USS Maine, approximately 100 yards from the West/main entrance to the Amphitheater. NOTE: Please remember that personal flags, banners, food, and drinks other than water are not permitted in the cemetery.

The procession will enter the Cemetery through the north entrance on Schley Drive, turn left up the 27 stairs on Custis Walk, turn left again on Sheridan Drive to the JFK and RFK graves where we can view the wreath from the National Peace Corps Association that will have been placed earlier that morning. There are two water fountains close to the JFK and RFK graves. The procession will return to Sheridan Drive and turn left on Crook Walk, up and down narrow descending stairs which will take us to the north entrance of the Amphitheater. The elapsed time of the procession is approximately 1 and ½ hours. The streets and Memorial Bridge are mostly flat with a slight incline on the bridge and there are hills and stairs on the narrow roads and walks in the cemetery.

The Eternal Flame

For those who might not be able to walk the cemetery route there will be a Tourmobile shuttle bus from the entrance to the cemetery directly to the Amphitheater. Seating in the Amphitheater in unrestricted except for a few designated and press areas. Because we will be in the sun for approximately four hours that morning and there is no shade on the marble benches in the Amphitheater, we suggest you consider bringing sun screen and a hat and of course a camera/video to capture the glory and emotion of this day. The designated flag carriers for the procession are asked to go to the truck outside of the amphitheater by 10:35 AM to again get the flags and flag poles and form up to walk in a procession into the amphitheater just before the ceremony begins at 11:00 AM. There will be designated chairs on both sides of the stage for the flag bearers to sit and hold the flags during the ceremony.

During the end of the closing ceremony, we will have a recession of the flags back to the truck so we can account for and safeguard the flags and poles that we are responsible for.

Transportation back to the box lunches and the picnic in Washington is on your own by Metro, taxi, or on foot. NOTE: The nearest Metro stop is further from the picnic area than the cemetery. For safety purposes we suggest you walk on the south side (opposite of the procession) of Memorial Bridge and bear right across Independence Ave. to the intersection with Ohio Drive.

Other important information

The Amphitheater is behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where there is a changing of the guard ceremony every half hour. We have been asked to keep our voices to a normal level as we assemble in the Amphitheater for our ceremony. Also note that there will be tourists throughout the cemetery as we hold the procession.

You are encouraged to bring water and hats and sunscreen if you wish. Please note that food and other drinks, flags, and banners are not allowed in the cemetery or the Amphitheater.

The Memorial Amphitheatre at Arlington National Cemetery

Bathrooms are located on the south-side ground level of the Lincoln Memorial and portable toilets will be across Independence Ave on the picnic grounds. More bathrooms are in the cemetery Visitors Center, the Women In Military Service for America Memorial at the entrance to the cemetery and by the south side entrance to the Amphitheater. All have handicap access.

There are no restrictions on cameras or videos. However, tripods are not permitted above the mid level steps (white) of the Lincoln Memorial or in the Amphitheater, except for press with proper credentials.

We encourage everyone to come and bring their family and friends of the Peace Corps. Those who do not think they can walk the procession can take the Metro Blue line to Arlington National Cemetery which is about a ½ mile walk from the Amphitheater or Tourmobile Ride (approximately $5.00). Both the Metro, www.metroopensdoors.com <http://www.metroopensdoors.com (202-637-7000) and the paid parking lot at the Cemetery www.arlingtoncemetery.org <http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org , (703-607-8052) open at 8:00 AM. Parking costs $1.25/hour for the first three hours and $2.00 for each additional hour.

Please contact Mike Wolfson (Peru 64-66) on arequipamike@juno.com <mailto:arequipamike@juno.com or by phone at home on 703-549-0170, office on 703-284-1840, or cell 703-598-5834 to designate the person responsible for receiving and returning the flags and for other questions about the procession. Note that each group can allow various persons to take turns carrying the flags during the procession as long as the designated persons receive the flags at the Lincoln Memorial and return them at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery and again at the mast of the USS Maine ou tside of the Amphitheater.

Although we don't anticipate any changes, please check this site again before you leave for the conference for any changes. Any unanticipated last minute changes will be posted in the Hotel conference headquarters.

We look forward to enjoying a wonderful day together!

Mike Wolfson

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; RPCVs - 40th plus one



By John Albertella on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 9:38 am: Edit Post

To: Mike Wolfson

I wonder if you know Pete Gendebien who served in Peru about your time. I served in Bolivia in 69-71 when Pete was on Bolivia's in-country staff. Thanks, John Albertella

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