Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Mt Vernon) says it’s wrong for “VIPs” to get “reserved” gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery. According to Loebsack, those deals violate an Army policy established in 1962.
“Every eligible servicemember should be buried at Arlington without regard for rank or status,” Loebsack says. “Unfortunately, Army policy has gone unheeded for over 40 years and past supervisors of the cemetary have allowed to these to continue.”
A week ago the U.S. House unaniomously passed a proposal Loebsack co-sponsored which forbids the practice of letting big wigs have reserved spots at Arlington. “Arlington National Cemetery, as we all know, is our nation’s most hallowed ground,” Loebsack says. “The promise we make to those who wear our nation’s uniform and to their families is that our nation will honor and remember their service, that we will never forget freedom is not free. I strongly believe that we should honor all of those who have served by putting an end to reservations at Arlington once and for all.”
The cemetery was established in 1864 and more than three-hundred thousand people are buried there. Cemetery officials report over three-thousand burial “reservations” are on file, but it’s not known how many were filed before the 1962 policy forbidding reservations went into effect. Under that Army policy, veterans who received the Medal of Honor or other awards for distinguished or heroic service are eligible to be buried at Arlington and any soldier is eligible if they die while on active duty.