Crammed Arlington Plans Controversial Expansions

Critics want new iconic military cemetery
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2013 12:52 AM CDT
Police officer Terry Fitzgerald of Portland, Maine, carries wreaths as he helps lay holiday wreaths at graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va    (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – The iconic Arlington National Cemetery is running out of space and critics say it's time to build Arlington Two instead of indefinitely tacking onto the military cemetery, the Washington Post reports. A columbarium that can hold more than 20,000 cremated remains will open this week, and a 27-acre expansion will begin this fall, to be followed by a 38-acre addition that officials say will take the cemetery into the 2050s. But the expansion is taking place on land badly suited for a cemetery, raising complaints about environmental issues as well as cost.

Without the additions, Arlington—which receives more than 4 million visitors a year—would have run of out space for cremated remains in 2016 and in-ground burials by 2025. "I love Arlington. But it’s not big enough for all future wars," says Rep. Jim Cooper, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "It seems like we need to be preparing for Arlington Two, making sure it’s just as nice and wonderful and historical as Arlington One."

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