Arlington Cemetery Debacle Gets Worse and Worse

Arlington Cemetery Struggles with Old Reservations
Christian Davenport, The Washington Post (March 21, 2011)
Officials at Arlington National Cemetery — still unable to fully account for who is buried where at the nation’s premier military resting place — are struggling to determine who has reserved plots and whether some of those grave sites are already in use.

Oh poor, sad black-hole-of-problems Arlington National Cemetery. One day, a book about running modern cemeteries will be written and in said book will be a chapter entitled Arlington National Cemetery: A Case Study in Totally Preventable Burial Disasters.

Last week, I posted another Washington Post article on the mass burial of ‘unknown’ urns.

And I now have a prediction: We have not yet reached the bottom of this continuing fall from postmortem grace. It boggles the imagination to imagine what will happen next, but I know that some new terrible development is on the way.

In all fairness, Arlington Cemetery’s new executive director, Kathryn Condon, is doing an impressive job of dealing with the multiple problems she inherited from the previous overseers. You can read about all of the problems confronting Arlington Cemetery here.

The newest problem confronting Arlington, as reported in the Post article linked above, is they don’t have accurate records for who holds a gravesite reservation and where, and whether that grave is already occupied.

At some point, it would be good to compile an entire list of everything that has gone wrong at Arlington…I’ll plan on this for the future.

Coincidentally, Meg posted information yesterday on some proposed legislation working its way through the United States Congress. The Bereaved Consumer’s Bill of Rights Act of 2011 was written to deal with the kinds of problems afflicting Arlington Cemetery. Sadly, this Bill would not encompass Veterans Affairs cemeteries, such as Arlington, so it’s up to the Federal Government to make the fixes.

This story will continue.

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