Time is of the essence at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. After a handful of advisory committee meetings and aCongressional hearing this spring, concluding the latest study of the capacity issue feels more urgent.
The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery (ACANC) recently opened a second survey, with the intention of getting more granular data on people's leanings concerning eligibility restrictions. The first survey results provided some significant information, but the committee is doing its due diligence to make sure preferences are clearly defined.
The primary focus of the second survey suggests any recommendation out of the committee likely will be related to eligibility. Whether that recommendation suggests restricting eligibility or leaving it the same largely depends on you and other survey respondents. MOAA strongly encourages all interested individuals to TAKE THE SURVEY .
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee's Military Personnel Subcommittee, stated recently he was more than willing to give up his earned plot at Arlington to a Medal of Honor recipient at some point in the distant future. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) echoed those sentiments. There is no mistaking that restricting eligibility is their preferred way of keeping the cemetery open for new burials well into the future.
While the most recent survey does not explicitly ask respondents to make that choice, the gist is to rank the perceived importance of different categories of servicemember for the purpose of burial eligibility at Arlington.
In a MOAA survey, members expressed very different opinions than the congressmen. Acquisition of additional land was clearly preferred over restricting burial eligibility. Further, nearly 70 percent of MOAA respondents said the cemetery should be closed to future burials once it is full.
You can expect there to be a decision of some kind by the end of this year. In this situation, a non-decision is a decision, too. Space is going to run out - it is just a matter of when, based on burial, eligibility, and expansion options. Weigh in on that decision by taking the survey .