Pets are no longer allowed at Arlington National Cemetery, the Army has announced.
The new policy went into effect Wednesday. Also no longer allowed are bicyclists without family passes.
“The primary mission of Arlington National Cemetery is to lay to rest those who have served our nation with dignity and honor,” according to a statement from cemetery officials. “And while we know that pet owners intend no disrespect to our veterans and military families, non-service related animals on cemetery grounds can and have impacted the decorum of both funeral services and ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”
Approved service animals and military working dogs are exempt from the policy, officials said.
As for the new policy regarding bicyclists, the move comes amid “legitimate safety concerns” as cyclists and pedestrians mix on cemetery grounds, according to a post on the cemetery’s official website. It also addresses what the service considers unintentional infringement on grieving family members.
Arlington National Cemetery, which is run by the Army, hosts 4 million visitors a year. It can hold up to 30 funeral services a day.