The Question of the Week – Should The Army Give Up Control of Arlington Cemetery?

July 2, 2010
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imageIt has been awhile since we have posted a “Question of the Week”. I recently read the following article and it prompted me to ask this question:

Should The Army Give Up Control of Arlington Cemetery?

As the nation prepares to celebrate the 4th of July, some are wondering if the Army should transfer management of Arlington National Cemetery to the Department of Veterans Affairs following the scandal kicked up by a report from the Army?s inspector general revealed a dysfunctional management of the hallowed military burial ground. Others yet think a private contractor might better handle the job.

The Army fired the cemetery?s superintendent earlier this month after the IG?s report uncovered evidence of an unhealthy workplace climate, a lack of established policies and more than 200 discrepancies between burial maps and gravesites. Salon.com, whose reporting prompted the investigation, also revealed this week that the cemetery has quietly, and illegally, reserved choice burial plots for VIPs. In hearings this week, Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said problems at Arlington dated back decades and should not have been tolerated this long.

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According to AOL News, Skelton wondered whether the Army should give up control of Arlington, with Virginia Rep. Joe Wilson adding that VA cemeteries are run well and asking if there would be ?any benefit? in transferring control to the VA. Army brass expressed the feeling that it is the Army?s responsibility, especially in times of war, to carry soldiers to their final resting place. The Army has run Arlington since 1864; the VA runs 131 national cemeteries in 39 states through its National Cemetery Administration, including 33 soldiers? lots in private cemeteries.

Article and Video Source: Sodahead.com

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