FRA Participates in Arlington Cemetery Roundtable Discussion
NED Thomas Snee recently participated in a VSO round table discussion about the future of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) that was organized by the Arlington Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, established October 2010, is tasked with providing independent advice for extending the availability of ANC. Some possibilities are altering or restricting eligibility criteria for burial, in order to extend the cemetery for future generations. At current rates of burials and internments, ANC will reach capacity in 2041. They would like to ensure maximum interment and inurnment capacity of the cemetery is not reached until well into the future. “Well into the Future” is defined as approximately 100 to 200 years from now.
The Committee desires a survey of the entire country to obtain feedback about what citizens think about the expansion and burial restrictions. NED Snee told the Committee that FRA surveyed members on their thoughts and concerns regarding eligibility to be buried at ANC. A very large majority (92 percent) believes that ANC should pursue all possible options for acquiring additional land before making any restrictions on the current eligibility. More than 67 percent want to reserve a set amount of space for Medal of Honor recipients and/or active duty deaths. More than 61 percent of respondents disagree with the statement: “The need to keep ANC operational for 100 years or more by significantly restricting eligibility is a more important consideration than requiring older veterans and military retirees currently planning on burial at Arlington to change their plans.”
ANC is managed by the Department of the Army and does not fall under any of the rules and regulations of veteran’s cemeteries administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. FRA understands this is an important issue for Shipmates and will continue to monitor and report on developments as they occur.