ARLINGTON, Va. (April 4, 2018) — Officials with Army National Cemetery value and respect the opinions of current Active Duty, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, civilian colleagues and retirees, and wish to provide all personnel with the opportunity to share their opinion on eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
The cemetery is at a critical crossroads in its history. Based on current eligibility standards, Arlington National Cemetery will run out of space in approximately 23 years and at that time will no longer be an active cemetery. The Army has been asked by Congress to consider what might be done to preserve ANC as an active military cemetery well into the future for generations to come. There are only two basic factors that affect the life of ANC — available land and the rate at which burials are requested. ANC’s location in a highly-developed area inside of the Capital Beltway limits the amount of expansion available to only a few small parcels of land and at ANC’s current rate of services, each acre will only extend the life of the cemetery by three months.
In July 2017, the cemetery conducted a survey in partnership with several military and veteran organizations. The more than 28,000 respondents shared that keeping ANC open well into the future is paramount. They also communicated that if eligibility at ANC is limited those killed in action, Medal of Honor and other valorous award recipients, former POWs, and those active duty service members who die on operational missions should have a place at ANC.
After analyzing the results of first survey, cemetery leadership determined there was a need for further refinement. With the assistance of the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery and military and Veteran Service Organizations, they developed a second survey, which is now available on the cemetery’s website.
Arlington National Cemetery invites everyone to take the survey and continue the robust and candid national dialogue. “Your opinion matters — not only to us, but to our military and civilian leaders as they face a difficult future for our hallowed national shrine,” said Executive Director of Army National Military Cemeteries Karen Durham-Aguilera.
The survey can be accessed on the cemetery’s website at: www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/eligibility-survey.
Editor’s note: There is no official deadline for completing the Arlington National Cemetery eligibility survey. According to a phone inquiry by Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs to an ANC Public Affairs spokeswoman on May 10, 2018, the survey will be closed when cemetery officials have an adequate number of responses.
Source: Fort Leonard Wood GUIDON May 10, 2018, Army News Service, and “Eligibility Survey Launched on Future of Cemetery” at https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/News/Post/4519.