Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Arlington - Grave Fraud?

Here’s an item from today’s Washington Post.

“The Justice Department is investigating the mishandling of remains at Arlington National Cemetery in a broad criminal inquiry that also seeks evidence of possible contracting fraud and falsification of records.
A federal grand jury in Alexandria has been subpoenaing witnesses and records relating to the scandal, and the investigation has been underway for at least six months, people familiar with the investigation said Tuesday.”

I am appalled! I know that in our country we are innocent until proven guilty, but just the allegations of fraud and a possible cover-up besmirch the integrity of service of our uniformed soldiers and it dishonors the sacred ground and history of Arlington.

Those who cheated on records and defrauded for dollars, if that is the case here, have no idea of what it takes to serve our country and the true sacrifice of life and limb for some and the dedicated service of others who are entitled to be buried in our national place of honor.

When we are gone, we are gone. The body dies and the memory of the person is placed in sacred ground for generations to honor and wonder at the individual gifts of so many.

I look forward to seeing what the grand jury finds in these allegations.

I recently spent some time in Lynchburg, Virginia. I visited a civil war cemetery for confederate soldiers. Southern Americans who fought and died for their belief and cause, as did so many Americans on the Northern side.

I was impressed that each grave marker had the name of the soul buried beneath the stone. The Civil War was a terrible war between brothers and families and it nearly tore our country apart. There are still lingering emotions, but we are still, “E pluribus unum,” out of many - one.

I bring this up because Arlington National Cemetery should be perfect. Bodies and names should precisely match. Anyone or any organization that hinders, alters or desecrates the process of identity should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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