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Arlington Cemetery Inching Closer to Capacity

Arlington National Cemetery is running out of room, and it’s not a problem that can be easily solved by re-landscaping, tree removal, or tree trimming in Arlington, VA. No, the struggles that the planners at Arlington National Cemetery are dealing with stem from a capacity issue and the availability of new burials.

 

However, one idea that has been floated around to help make the cemetery more open for newcomers is to change the eligibility requirements for those wishing to make the grounds their final resting place.

 

As the location of more than 7,000 funerals in 2017 along, Arlington National Cemetery is already in high demand. But now the public is taking more interest in its eligibility requirements and people have spoken out on who they think should and shouldn’t be let in. In fact, more than 220,000 individuals took an online survey about that very topic.

 

According to Army Maj. Shannon Way, a strategic planner at Arlington National Cemetery, in an interview with WTOP in Northern, Va., the response to this survey, “shows us how important this cemetery is to the public.”

 

So far the survey has shown that the public would like the cemetery to remain open for new burials, especially for those killed in action and Medal of Honor recipients. Many believe those individuals should always have a place there.

 

If the strategic planners are able to limit the eligibility requirements to just those individuals, the longevity of the cemetery itself could be greatly extended.

 

“Given the rates of killed in action that we’ve had for the last 10 years, you could see the cemetery lasting 200 more years,” Way told WTOP.

 

But even with this suggestion and possible policy change, the cemetery’s planners are not out of the woods just yet. At the current rate of soldiers killed in action, it is predicted that the cemetery could reach its capacity by 2041. With the changes, that could extend into the 2050s or 2060s.

 

“It’s definitely not an overnight decision,” Way told WTOP

 

Anyone wishing to take the survey can do so through Memorial Day.

Arlington National Cemetery is running out of room, and it’s not a problem that can be easily solved by re-landscaping, tree removal, or tree trimming in Arlington, VA. No, the struggles that the planners at Arlington National Cemetery are dealing with stem from a capacity issue and the availability of new burials.

However, one idea that has been floated around to help make the cemetery more open for newcomers is to change the eligibility requirements for those wishing to make the grounds their final resting place.

As the location of more than 7,000 funerals in 2017 along, Arlington National Cemetery is already in high demand. But now the public is taking more interest in its eligibility requirements and people have spoken out on who they think should and shouldn’t be let in. In fact, more than 220,000 individuals took an online survey about that very topic.

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