Scrutiny returns to Arlington

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Two urns from Arlington National Cemetery found their way to an Alexandria, Va., auction house, raising more questions over the Army's management of the cemetery. (Arlington National Cemetery photo)

You could bid on two nine-foot decorative urns from the Arlington National Cemetery at public auction unless the government steps in and prevents the sale, according to a report in Sunday’s Washington Post. The Army has launched an investigation to figure out how these historic urns found their way into the hands of an antique shop owner and were scheduled to be auctioned next weekend at an Alexandria, Va., auction house.

The newest controversy comes just eight months after an Army investigation and Washington post reporting found wide-ranging problems at Arlington that included unmarked graves and veterans buried under the wrong head stones. Army leadership will again have to answer hard questions over how so these problems continue.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, said her committee will launch its own investigation. She told the Post in a statement: “This is just another example of the poor contract management at Arlington Cemetery in recent years, and this cannot continue.”

Management for the cemetery was fired after this summer’s investigation. It will be interesting to see if further disciplinary action will be taken. Also, could Congress take the responsibility away from the Department of the Army? Could a joint organization stand up and take over?

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  1. Patrick Sheehan on

    I have strong faith that the United States Army and the leadership of Arlington National Cemetery will take every action to ensure that none of the mistakes that have been discovered to date will ever happen again.

    My father will join his brothers in arms in Arlington next month, and I have absolute trust that those charged with caring for his earthly vessel will fulfill their sacred obligations to him.

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