65K Arlington Graves May Have Problems: Army

How serious still unknown
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 23, 2011 3:45 AM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2011 6:50 AM CST
The mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan, left, embraces the wife of a soldier killed in Afghanistan in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Dec. 16.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – After a meticulous, year-long survey of graves at the Arlington National Cemetery, Army investigators have discovered some discrepancy with 65,000 of them—one quarter of all the graves at the military site. Many problems may be minor, including typographical errors in paperwork, reports the Washington Post. Some of them may be linked to more serious issues, such as misplaced bodies, but how extensive the problem is won't be known until the daunting study is completed. An accounting of each grave was ordered by Congress after an Army probe found mismarked or unmarked graves, unearthed urns, and a mysterious mass grave.

Now each gravestone has been photographed and cataloged, and investigators are matching the details to some 500,000 paper records scanned into the survey's computer system. Certain older sections of the cemetery are proving to be especially problematical. A map of an area for slaves and black Civil War soldiers, for example, shows 70 graves that don't currently exist. “Historically the records and grounds in these sections were not maintained to the same standards as the rest of the cemetery,” the survey report states. The final review is expected to take months. (Read more Arlington National Cemetery stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |