An investigation by the United States Army reveals frustrating news for family members of America’s fallen who were laid to rest at the Arlington Cemetery. It seems that some graves – the number provided was in the range of hundreds – may have been mislocated or misidentified, according to a report on CNN.com. This number reportedly includes some of the fallen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Army inspector general’s investigation was launched last fall in response to reports that some cremated remains were being buried in the wrong gravesites. Among the things that the investigation uncovered were missing burial records, unmarked graves and the placing of burial urns in a spillage pile. The investigation’s documents also indicated that investigators were unable to visit all the graves in question due to inaccurate burial maps, and that investigators observed a “lack of established policies and procedures, a failure to automate records, and long-term systemic problems.”
Secretary of the Army John McHugh, who ordered the investigation as an expansion to one regarding cemetery management issues that was launched by his predecessor, Peter Green, gave the following statement: “I deeply apologize to the families of the honored fallen resting in that hallowed ground, who may now question the care afforded to their loved ones.”
There were 211 mismarked graves according to the CNN report, two of which belonged to a section reserved for the fallen of Iraq and Afghanistan.
A call center to address any concerns regarding mishandling at Arlington Cemetery has been established. It is open from 8:00 am until 9 pm, and the number is (703) 607 – 8199.