My friends and fellow RFTW riders:
I have some sad news that will alter one of our most cherished RFTW activities in the D.C. Metro area. Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) cancelled all wreath laying ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier over the 2022 Memorial Day weekend. In February, ANC leadership decided instead to host an annual Public Flower Ceremony over the Memorial Day weekend. As of this message, ANC has not published the dates and times for the ceremony.
Last November during a Centennial Commemoration event, and for the first time in nearly 100 years, the public was able to walk across the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier plaza to lay single-stemmed flowers in front of the Tomb and personally pay their respects to the Unknown Soldiers. More than 13,000 individuals registered to attend the two-day event. Our own D.C. Coordinator, Gail Dippel, participated on behalf of Run For The Wall and was moved by the attendance and support for the commemoration. The public response was so overwhelmingly positive that ANC decided to make it an annual event for Memorial Day weekend.
We will keep you updated about the Memorial Day Public Flower Ceremony and provide details for riders to individually schedule a block of time to participate in this honored event. Please be patient.
The closing of this door represents the end of a proud and honored tradition for RFTW, but opens another door for riders to individually honor and remember our fallen brothers and sisters by laying their own flowers at the Tomb. Hopefully, this will give everyone a greater sense of personal involvement in our remembrance.
We Ride For Those Who Can’t.
Dave “Papa Smurf” Klemme
President, RFTW Board of Directors
“Freedom Isn’t Free”