Ted Kennedy will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery today, but for many soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan the wait for an Arlington burial is a lot longer, writes Mark Benjamin at Salon. Kennedy himself once intervened for a Massachusetts family who was told they’d have to wait at least six weeks to bury their son, more if they wanted a service. Those waits have grown even longer, in some cases stretching months.
Nor is that the only problem at Arlington. The cemetery doesn’t have a digital system for keeping track of its plots, despite millions spent to develop one—the project has been plagued by fraud. As a result, the cemetery isn’t entirely sure which bodies are buried where, even in a newer cemetery section. “These are not isolated incidents,” said the head of a veterans’ group. “There are deep-rooted problems at Arlington.”