Washingtonians and visitors seeking to attend Veterans Day ceremonies or to pay their respects to the fallen at Arlington National Cemetery this year will need to allocate extra time in getting there.
That's because the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has cancelled all Blue line rail service on the federal holiday, and it's the only line that services the Arlington National Cemetery Metro train station.
The public transportation authority isn't shutting down for mandated safety repairs, which have plagued the agency since a 2009 fatal accident. Rather, service is being cancelled for "a major concert."
The concert, billed as "The Concert for Valor," is being held on the National Mall and is being sponsored by HBO, Chase, and Starbucks. Its being called "a first-of-its-kind concert to honor the courage and sacrifice of America’s veterans" and will be broadcast to HBO's 32 million U.S. subscribers. A press release states that "HBO will offer its affiliates the opportunity to open the signal, allowing nonsubscribers to view the special."
According to WMATA, the concert "could draw up to 800,000 attendees -- larger than July 4 and many Presidential Inaugurations." Musical performers Eminem, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, and the Zac Brown band are slated to perform. Celebrities like Tom Hanks, John Oliver, Meryl Streep, Jamie Foxx, and Steven Spielberg are also on the docket.
Due to its proximity to the event on the mall, alternate means of transportation to Arlington National Cemetery will be especially more difficult.
In an effort to accommodate those who want to attend the wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns or remember friends or family, WMATA is offering a special shuttle train from Reagan Airport to Arlington Cemetery. But expect to wait a lot longer to get there -- people have a concert to attend.