Arlington National Cemetery is back open to the public on Wednesday afternoon after a bomb threat earlier in the day closed the cemetery for several hours.
Around 11 a.m. EST, Arlington National Cemetery officials and Joint Base-Myer Henderson Hall emergency services responded to a bomb threat to the cemetery, according to Barbara Lewandrowski, director of the cemetery's public affairs.
Families, visitors, and employees were evacuated from the area while authorities investigated the threat, Lewandrowski said.
For the next four hours, the cemetery remained closed to the general public, though funeral services continued as usual.
Around 3:00 p.m. EST, Arlington National Cemetery announced that authorities had cleared the area and normal operations had resumed, opening the cemetery to the public until its normal closing time of 7 p.m.
#UPDATE: Arlington National Cemetery and @JBMHH emergency services have cleared all areas of the cemetery. As of 3 p.m., normal operations have resumed and the cemetery is once again open to the public.— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) August 22, 2018
We will remain open until 7 p.m., which is our normal closing time. https://t.co/gU5XSGeXVg
"We take our responsibility seriously to ensure a safe and secure environment to our family members, guests, visitors and employees, and thank all our internal and external partners for their support and cooperation," said Kate Kelley, cemetery superintendent, in a tweet from Arlington National Cemetery.
"I would especially like to thank our family members for their patience during this time and our employees for continuing to support the funeral services today," she added.